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 !

Setting Up My Happy Space

A lot of what I’m coming into is embracing my life and change – while maintaining special spots in the house for myself that just make me plain happy. Today I set up a small office area in preparation for back to school (2 weeks!) where I can store my stuff and printer, have my laptop set out and plenty of space for the mass quantity of textbooks I just purchased (ouch).

It’s in our living room / slowly becoming library. Which is right by the kitchen and in open space. Why this is so important for me – I need dedicated space to work, but I hate feeling isolated while working, I need interaction even in the essence of just presence around. I am so happy. I plan to get some cute little desk decoration ideas and amp up my space a little. I’m all over Pinterest, who isn’t?

I’ll update on the desk space.

Also, I’m starting to prep to make a yoga room/meditation spot for myself. This is what I’m most looking forward too. Again, Pinterest is huge. But I’m really putting positive energy into this process and feeling great about it.

I strongly believe the better and more positive vibes/energy/karma you put out, the better you feel overall. It’s simple, be kind and you feel kinder.

If anyone has links or ideas on desk decor and/or meditation spots please let me know!

Goal Setting // What Do You Want In Life?

So I’ve been out for about a week, due to post surgery recovery – not feeling 100% normal but definitely getting there – which is super nice. I’ve done a lot of reflecting and working with a coach on my overall wellness and it has me thinking ‘if I could do anything in the world, what would make me completely happy?’ For me that’s giving back and helping others. That genuinely brings me peace and joy.

I’ve reached out to a couple places in hopes for volunteering opportunities and am eagerly awaiting new possibilities. I’ve also started to make some long term and short term goals. I’m not going to go into total detail but a big short term goal for me is putting an emphasis on self-care and integrating that into my daily life. Not only is this so important for everyone but especially those that deal with mental health – taking care of yourself is vital for success and happiness. So that being said, I made a small self care guideline to keep me on track daily and am working towards really getting it all done. This doesn’t mean though that I beat myself up if I don’t do it “perfectly” – there is no perfect way when it comes to this kind of routine, just what you can do as your best effort.

Morning:

  • Wake up refreshed after 7-10 hours of sleep  // between 6-6:30
  • Make healthy breakfast for myself + coffee to go
  • Meditate // gratitude journal
  • Review schedule for the day

Throughout the day:

  • Continue drinking water
  • Eat a healthy lunch
  • Take a walk
  • Keep in touch with family/friends

Evening:

  • Healthy dinner
  • Blog
  • TED talk
  • Time with family
  • Time with boyfriend
  • Homework prep
  • yoga

 

Breakfast is actually something I am really focusing on – it seems so simple but I either skip it or eat something that doesn’t set up my day for success and well being. Which in turn leads to over eating or eating junk for the rest of my day and feeling pretty lousy.

I’ll keep you posted on my successes, challenges and learning experiences as I head back into the school year !

NYX Total Control Foundation | Review

I posted a mini haul earlier and this foundation was on my must try list. I wasn’t sure if I would love it because it’s consistency is quite liquified but I thought I’d give it a try.

It states that it is buildable coverage and one can build this up based off of how many drops you smooth over your skin. I took some pictures from 0 foundation to 3 layers of the foundation.

I love that this is so universally usable in coverage. There are days I want a barely there look and definitely days I want to be completely covered up. From left to right; starts with no foundation, 1 drop of foundation and finally a full 3 drops of foundation.

Retailing around $16 CAD is totally budget friendly for the quality that you get. A little goes a long way, and therefore you get more for your dollar. It lets you play with your look and vary on how you want to look for an individual event or day. It doesn’t leave you oily and it caused no breakouts for my acne prone skin – huge bonus.

Overall, I’d give it a 5/5 thumbs up.

Throwback Favourite

I recently repurchased an old favourite, my Rimmel London Wake Me Up Foundation (seriously only $11 CAD). Its super light weight yet manages to cover anything I need it too, all while making me look so refreshed. It is very affordable as foundations go and is convenient to pick up most places. It also has a pump which I love, so easy to proportion the amount of foundation used. It’s description states: “Our first liquid foundation that visibly reawakens and illuminates skin with a radiant glow and a flawless, natural-looking finish. Visible anti-fatigue effect. With peptides and a Vitamin Moisturizing Complex.” and it’s very true. Definitely one of my favourite drugstore finds.

Rimmel-Wake-Me-Up-Make-Up-Foundation-Ivory-100-380852

Successful Ways to Start the Day ~ Morning Routine

My refined but perfect way to set myself up for success and a zen-ful day. If I can’t do all things I prioritize.

So my full list in order includes:

  • wake up depending on my list for the day (between 730-9)
  • meditate
  • ted talk / flipboard articles
  • yoga
  • shower
  • brush teeth/hair
  • coffee
  • feed / let dogs out
  • breakfast

I have read in multiple articles that to set yourself up for success you must feed you body, mind and soul. That’s why I love the yoga and meditation, and a quick ted talk or daily news article.

If I have little time my condensed format goes as follows:

  • wake up time
  • meditate
  • ted talk / flipboard articles
  • shower
  • brush teeth/hair
  • coffee
  • feed / let dogs out

I know skipping breakfast isn’t the greatest but I usually almost always pick up a bagel on the way to where I am going. But at home I enforce time for a little daily update and some meditation bliss with a coffee. I love sitting in my backyard watching my dogs and sipping my java.

I truly believe if you make time to care for yourself you can stand tall and be successful at work and in your daily interactions.

What do you think?