By Stacey Beaver, NU Scholar (October 2019 Cohort)
Bachelor of Science in Nursing
My life as an adult learner is filled with a seemingly endless to-do list. Day-to-day responsibilities extend well beyond reading assignments, projects, tests and clinical hours for my nursing program. Even with the help of my supportive and understanding husband Scott, between childcare drop-offs, home maintenance, laundry, and other housework, I don’t have a minute to spare.
With all of this busyness, it’s no surprise that I have not made enough time for self-care. Self-care is emphasized over and over in my nursing program as a vital tool for managing stress, achieving a sense of calm, and re-energizing one’s self. Between having a daughter and starting my nursing program, I had let many of my previous self-care habits fall to the wayside. My daughter is almost two years old, so it’s been a while: Almost two years of driving by the gym I pay too much for, eating an embarrassing amount of fast food, and taking no time to indulge in the things I love most like warm baths or the sauna. So, I am making a commitment now to treating myself better. I encourage you to join me in my first self-care change: ditching my fast food habit.
Here is how I plan to do it:
Eat Real Food:
I will try to incorporate as many unprocessed and unrefined foods into my diet as possible. Examples include fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains.
Too often, I have used the excuse that I don’t have time to pack a lunch before I head to clinical or lecture. Meal prepping will allow me to spend less time every day worrying about what to eat, and instead dedicate a specific time to planning and preparing meals for an entire week.
I know it’s time to ditch the super sweet coffee and soda. It’s so easy to take in unnecessary calories and added sugar in drinks, not to mention the cost! I have a tough time drinking plain water so I will try to dress it up with lots of ice and a sprig of fresh mint or slices of cucumber.
I hope that building this habit of making my own nutritious meals will nourish my body and mind, not to mention help my pocketbook. I hope this post inspires you to join me in making this change, or to commit to your own self-care goal. While it can be hard to justice the time at first, I promise that taking care of yourself will recharge your batteries and ultimately give you more strength and time as you move through your academic program at NU.