How To Reset And Renew Yourself For The New Year
Over the past two years, you’ve experienced unprecedented levels of stress and burnout. You’ve emptied your cup by filling others’ time and time again. The last thing you have time for right now is self-care.
We see what you’re giving up to focus on others. We hear you.
But by reading this blog, you’re making yourself a priority for at least a few minutes. And that’s great. This is about you — because you deserve it.
As 2021 draws to a close and a new year approaches, it’s time to reset and renew. We spoke with empathy educator, patient advocate, and inspirational speaker Tena Brown about what nurses can do now to enter the New Year recharged.
Evaluate Your Year
When you think about renewal, it’s a new decision and fresh direction. To get to a place of renewal, you must know what to change. That requires an assessment of where you’ve been.
Sit down and think about everything that’s happened to you over the past year. Look at your:
- Areas of growth
- Areas to improve for biggest impact
Take what you’ve learned from the past year and reassess. What can you bring with you into the new year to build on? What lessons have you learned that will make you a better nurse and person in the year ahead?
“Renewal is a great chance to start over and give yourself permission to let go of what hasn’t served you,” said Tena. “You can’t change the past, but you can change the future.”
Go Back to the Fundamentals
Resetting often means taking a step back and focusing on the basics. In times of strife, nurses need a healthy foundation of self-care to fall back on. If that foundation of healthy habits isn’t established, you don’t have anything to rely on during stressful periods.
For 2022, make your foundation strong. Develop strategies for your day-to-day that promote self-care. These can be miniscule tactics that take just minutes to complete. For example, when you wake up in the morning, start your day with 10 minutes of quiet time to check in with yourself. Drink a hot cup of coffee or tea and be present in the moment. If you don’t have enough time, set your alarm for 10 minutes earlier than you normally wake, and make yourself get up.
“Just like you would check up on a friend or loved one who is having a hard time, you need to do that for yourself,” said Tena. “We need to feed our own spirits every day.”
Get back to the basics. Establish one habit you do each day that promotes your own well-being.
Try a Mental Diet
When you’re burned out, you have no energy left in your tank. A lot of that has to do with what’s going on inside of you — what you’re thinking. For the New Year, pay more attention to your thoughts by trying a mental diet.
Here’s how it works — it’s similar to a traditional diet. If you want to lose weight, you cut calories. If you want to lose the heaviness of burnout, you purge thoughts of fear, anxiety, worry, guilt, and negativity that suck your energy. Turn your attention to what you want to manifest and create for yourself.
Note that while changing your thoughts takes dedication, it’s worth it in the long run.
“Nurses need every ounce of positivity they can get,” said Tena. “This is your chance to control the controllable. Think of your thoughts as channels on your mind’s TV. If negative thoughts creep in, change the channel. Reframe what’s happening so you can radiate positivity.”
Don’t Go It Alone
You don’t have to reset and renew on your own. In fact, loved ones can offer tons of encouragement and support during this time of transition. Include your family, friends, and co-workers in your efforts to recharge this season. Also, consider the health and wellness services available from:
- Your employer
- Your partner’s employer
- Your insurance
- A local community center
- A place of worship
Take It One Day at a Time
Sometimes looking at the big picture is overwhelming. When you think of the New Year, don’t think about the next 12 months. Think about the next day. What will you do tomorrow to better yourself and build a foundation of health? Pick one item and focus on crossing that off your list, then do it again (or add to it) the following day. Take it day-by-day and watch as the days turn into weeks and months of healthy habits.
No matter how you decide to reset and renew for the upcoming year, you’re on the right path. We are here for you. Please let us know if there is anything else that Healthy Nurse, Healthy Nation™ can do to support you.
Tena Brown is an empathy educator, patient advocate, and inspirational speaker at tena.brown.com. She recently gave a Coffee Break presentation to ANA HNHN members.
Not a member of Healthy Nurse, Healthy Nation (HNHN) yet? Join us today!
I love all of this! I'm not waiting until 2022, I am going to try to start my small change now and work on the mental diet! Great resources!