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The Ultimate Self Care for Nurses

"Whatever outcome this patient has is 100% on you and you alone. This is ALL your fault. This is terrible. You are terrible. No one else finds it hard to do these kinds of cases and give this kind of care. Everyone else can do CPR one minute and then move on and do a hang nail removal the next minute. You are the only one who feels this way. You are all alone in this experience."

"Wow. You just used your incredible skill to work to save this person’s life. You have given years of your life to this training and these skills and it shows. You are good at this, like really good at it. Incredible what you get to do. Just incredible. Congratulations darling! Feel your feet on the ground and celebrate your strength and ability to harness all that you know and all that you are and use it in service to another."

The fact that these two very different self-talk conversations came out of the same brain after similar clinical scenarios does not seem possible.

But it is the truth. MY BRAIN--they both came out of MY BRAIN.

One bloomed out of mindfulness and intention and my practice of fierce self-compassion and the other spewed forth from the feelings fountain of my tenish-year-old self who still likes to yell solid untruths at me daily.

Self compassion is the ultimate self care

Self-compassion is just being a really good friend to yourself. Unlike taking a bubble bath or going to the spa, self compassion can be done in real-time when facing challenges at work.

Fierce self compassion

Fierce self-compassion is simply self-compassion in motion. Fierce self-compassion is saying what your friend would say to you if you called them after a particularly hard case or day. Fierce self-compassion is motivating, protecting, and providing for ourselves in response to asking ourselves, “What do you need darling?”

My ten-year-old self has mentioned the negative feelings at the top of this post to me so often that the downward mental spiral is a well-worn neuro pathway in my brain. I am done being swept away by the waters of the feelings fountain and letting them take me wherever they may go. To this fountain, I now bring intention and say: “Feelings fountain, I see you and I honor what I can learn about myself from you. I choose how I talk to myself, and I no longer talk to myself that way. Thank you.”

If fierce self compassion is something you want your community, employees, or students to learn more about fill out the contact form at the top of this page to invite Sarah Bergakker to workshop with you!!


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