Healthy Nurse, Healthy Nation™ - #healthynurse Spotlight Series - Kelsee Lunsford, LPN
Nurse lives a life powered by positivity.
Nurses often have a front seat to the human experience, witnessing and embracing people during their most joyful and tragic moments. Sometimes riding that rollercoaster of emotions can also make it difficult to stay positive — unless you’re #healthynurse Kelsee Lunsford, LPN.
Things do affect Kelsee, who provides in-home care for older adults. She doesn’t go through every day with a giant smile, but she has found a way to weave positivity into each one.
“A positive outlook is vital to me,” Kelsee says. “I know what it's like not to have that thread of positivity running through your days, and I work hard to prevent myself from going back there.”
The Path to Positive Thinking
Kelsee’s great-grandparents played a big role in raising her. They set examples of living with kindness, humility, and positivity. But after they passed away when Kelsee was 15, she struggled to stay positive. Kelsee eventually felt like she had hit rock bottom. She knew she needed to pull herself up.
“I got tired of wasting my days being negative,” she says, “so I searched within myself for the kind of person I want to be. I drew inspiration from what I observed growing up with my great- grandparents. I came to a point where I realized that life is what you make it — it's all about perspective.”
But Kelsee didn’t flip a switch and magically become a positive thinker. It’s taken years of trial and error to figure out what helps her maintain her optimism.
Practices That Promote Positivity
Living with a positive outlook doesn’t always come easy. Kelsee is a single mother who works full-time. While she loves caring for others, she’s learned to recognize the value of prioritizing self-care.
“I don't know who I would be if I wasn't caring for others,” Kelsee says. “But finding the balance between caring for others and caring for myself can be hard to manage at times.”
Kelsee believes certain daily practices provide the support she needs to be a positive thinker:
Having a positive attitude is a choice Kelsee makes each day when she wakes up. “I look in the mirror every morning and tell myself what I think I need to hear. And then I start to believe it,” she says. Her daily affirmations make her feel strong and able to handle whatever the day brings.
Kelsee fits exercise in whenever she can — sometimes even twice a day. She doesn’t keep a rigid routine and does whatever makes her feel good. Her workouts include everything from lifting weights to running with the dog to playing outside with her son. “Exercise helps with the mental part of my wellness. For me, it acts like therapy,” Kelsee says. “If your mind gets heavy and you move your body, your mind will become lighter.”
Gratitude is an essential practice for Kelsee both at home and at work. Caring for older adults, Kelsee expects to experience loss. But she works hard to focus on the good parts of life, reminding herself how lucky she is to have known each person she cares for. “I don't have a huge family that I’m close to,” Kelsee says, “but I feel like I have 100 grandmas and 100 grandpas. I consider them family and count myself lucky.”
Kelsee spends 5 minutes a day meditating. She’s been doing it for a year before bedtime when her mind is racing from the day. “I’ve seen a big difference in how I can control my thoughts and stop the negative ones,” she says. “It quiets my mind, centers me, and reminds me that life is life.”
Kelsee believes that anyone can choose to live with positivity. Once you make that choice consistently, positivity can become second nature. She recommends you:
- Recenter yourself each day by taking a step back, sitting in silence, and breathing. It will help you better prepare for the fast pace of nursing and life.
- Remember why you became a nurse. It will foster gratitude for your work and the people you care for. It can almost make working feel effortless.
Kelsee Lunsford, LPN, is a field nurse with CenterWell Home Health.
Are you a #healthynurse? Share your stories with us in our discussion.
Not a member of Healthy Nurse, Healthy Nation (HNHN) yet? Join today!
Join our monthly challenges at hnhn.org/challenges.