Date Published: June 1st, 2021
John O’Leary was in an accident that left him covered in burns on 100% of his body. He had a 1% chance of survival. He spent five months in the hospital going through skin grafts and relearning everything he’d ever been able to do.
In a presentation for National Nurse’s Month and in honor of everything nurses have had to endure for the past year, John gave a live presentation to the ATI family of nurses, nursing students and educators about how to awaken to all the potential in life. Here are some of the takeaways to help you live more thoughtfully, boldly, and inspired each day.
Gratitude for all you have: Choosing gratitude allows you to bring more joy into your life. It’s easy to allow our hopes and joys to be beaten out of us as we struggle our way through nursing school, or with relationships, or in any of the other challenges we face during our life. Finding things to be grateful for each day – maybe it’s that you’ve found a few moments for reflection, or a diagnosis isn’t as severe as first thought, or empathy for those who are also struggling – gives us a powerful way to find pure joy in our lives. One great way to take care of yourself is to take a moment and write down what you’re grateful for, and maybe even start a journal.
Mission for all you do: How do you go into work, day after day, when the work is grueling and unpleasant and patients take their frustrations out on you? The answer is often that healthcare work feels like a calling, like a mission that’s important, even necessary to carry out. The mission behind the work, to serve as aide for someone in need, can help you keep going. Look for miracles – everything from a child’s laugh to a dog’s bark.
Vision for all that’s possible: Some patients find themselves in incredibly dark, difficult moments in their lives as they confront illnesses and injuries. Remind your patients, and remind yourself, that sometimes the journey is going to be hard, but you can go through it together. Find that vision for what a patient’s life can be and help them on the path to get there.
You can choose to thrive, to make a difference, to take care of yourself so that you can take care of others. Ask yourself why you choose to thrive and write that why down. Read it when you need it, to keep yourself going, or to help yourself get out of bed and get started.
Remind yourself of the things you’re grateful for. Keep your mission, to help those who need it, close to your heart. And hold on to a vision of what’s possible for you and for those you encounter each day. Doing these things can help you have a more passionate, fulfilled career and life.
For more ways to prevent burnout and to keep yourself going, check out Self Care: 7 Tips for Reducing Stress during Uncertain Times