Nursing Student Life

They say everything is about balance, and that couldn’t be truer. But there are some challenges we face that really through us for a curve ball on the balanced path.

I’m about to finish up my first year of becoming an RPN (registered practical nurse), also known as a licensed practical nurse in a lot of places. I am obsessed with this profession, I love my future career – but it is definitely a lot of work.

I know I’ve posted before about my hourly commitment for school being equal to that of a full time job, but I struggle with turning off the “work” part of me and enjoying everyday life. For me I prep for school/placement, do homework for school/placement, and actually attend classes/placement. It feels like there is no off switch, but I am trying.

My weekends usually are swamped with school work too, so it makes it a little harder. But I prioritize. For me school and my mental health are tied at first. Then family + boyfriend for second. Then everything else. I tend to be more anti-social during the school time, just because I love my friends but I have so little time in a day to balance. And with my mental health being first that means incorporating down time where I don’t have to think at all. Family is next because they fill up my good vibes and I always feel better after being with my family and my boyfriend. They don’t expect me to be anything but myself – good and bad moments.

What I’m trying to work on (as I obsessively watch other nursing students / healthcare workers youtube videos) is finding an exercise routine. Not only is it good for me physical but mentally as well. It calms, and releases those “feel good” endorphins. It is also good for coping with high stress. So I keep looking for something I like, and am actively working towards that.

Any workout ideas that work for you – please let me know!

 

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Well School Is Something

Hello again!

I have been gone for so long because my school semester started up in early September. And oh boy has it been a whirlwind. Don’t get me wrong, I am absolutely loving it (except pathology) but every accomplishment and learning moment is a moment I’m closer to becoming a nurse. Something I no longer have any doubt – that I’m meant to do.

I have 5 classes, and 1 placement. In total I have school about 30 hours for the week not including breaks, and about an additional 10 hours for homework, assignments, research, etc. So it’s a full time job at 40 hours a week. Most students in general will say higher education is a commitment, but my fellow nursing students will tell you by the end of the day (if possible) naps are your very good friend.

So what’s my point, other than life’s busy? Self-care, self-love, self-compassion.

My self-care, with a lot of effort, has stayed fairly solid. I sleep when I can in the day, and I go to bed no later than 9pm because I’m up early everyday. I practise meditation, but I’ve adapted to a more concise version – I find often I don’t have 10/15 minutes to just sit (even though I should make the time). I will count my breathes on a 1, 2 cycle – 1 inhale, 2 exhale. I will practise alternating nostril breathing before bed (block right nostril, breathe in; open right nostril, block left nostril, breathe out) – this usually puts me right out. I have also been practising gratitude. Where I’m in placement there are a lot of clients who need a lot of personal care, and some who have no support outside of themselves. It fills my heart to help them, and reminds me how wonderful it is that I do have that external support systems. And what’s more gratifying then getting to do something you love everyday? Every weekend I prep for the week: set alarms, reminders, plan out homework sessions, and review class content.

With very mental health specific self-care parts, I set reminders to shower, and shave on Sunday. I then ask my family to remind me if I forget or don’t feel up to it – shower every night and quite honestly to brush my teeth some days. It is so easy when we are in high stress, or crazy busy that we forget or drop things that already take us more effort to do – but these habits are essential to feeling good.

Self-love and self-compassion. I’m a work in progress on this. I don’t even bat an eyelash when I feel I can help someone, but when it comes to myself – I bat my eyelashes a lot. So I’ve been working on and researching some affirmations to start my day and have even recently set an alarm about mid-day to remind me to breathe and try out a positive, compassionate affirmation for myself. This section I will keep you posted on.

I could talk for days, and I will – I’ll just try to break it up a bit in my blogs.

If you have any questions about school, organization, self-care plans, pretty much anything – let me know and I will happily explain what I can and give tips on what I do.

That’s all for now !