This is National Nurses Week. The theme for this year’s observance is: “Nurses: Advocating, Leading, Caring”. I have known and observed many nurses in my lifetime. The best are like swans – they are graceful and dignified on the surface, but underneath the water, they are paddling furiously. In other words, the best nurses I have seen have been extremely busy, but at the same time courteous, intuitive and kind. I admire them greatly.
Like many occupations, nursing can be very stressful. Nursezone.com recently posted a few key ways that nurses can help de-stress their lives. They included the following:
- Think positively
- Identify stressful situations
- Collaborate with administrators
- Take time for oneself
- Support each other
- Adopt healthy habits
- Try yoga therapy
- Give back to others through charity work
- Find joy in life
I can add one more thing to that list: pray for yourself daily. By putting God in the picture of our lives, we are connecting with a great source of strength, intelligence and endurance. I think these words of St. Paul are a wonderful prayer for anyone facing a busy life: “It is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure” (Phil. 2: 13). This acknowledges God as the source of our integrity, courage, love and patience. Actually the love we feel for others – and the stamina to continue to express it – comes from God, Love, itself.
Praying in this way enables us to help others effectively without sacrificing ourselves to burden and fatigue. The Bible assures us that God’s grace “is sufficient for thee” (II Cor. 12: 9). The love and wisdom God gives simply cannot be used up. Instead it continually provides us with the buoyancy to stay underwhelmed and unpressured. Christian Science healer, Mary Baker Eddy wrote, “Love inspires, illumines, designates, and leads the way. Right motives give pinions to thought, and strength and freedom to speech and action” (Science and Health, p. 454). That is, the ability to say the right thing, and the strength to do whatever our job demands that we do.
We can find God-given joy in serving others, even when tasks feel difficult or menial, tedious or thankless. The good we do for others brings peace and satisfaction. God showers blessings on the caregiver and the cared-for. A good work is never in vain. It brings its own joy.
At one time, nurses were called “angels of mercy”. I think that title is still appropriate today. Happy Nurses Week – and thank you for the love, care and dedication you bring to those who need your help.