#WeNurses - Thursday 15th November 2018 8pm (GMT Standard Time) Self care for winter work

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Hosted by WeNurses using #WeNurses

This chat is guest hosted by @NurseEiri

Pre chat information written by Eiri JonesĀ 

As nurses (and other healthcare workers) we usually put others first. Our Code expects us to do all we can for our patients and others in our care. But we also have a duty to ourselves.

The last 3 winters have become more and more challenging in the health service and with the current workforce pressures we all feel we should do more. In order to do this we need to ensure our own physical and emotional health and well being. That is what this twitter chat is about - looking after ourselves this winter so we can look after those in our care.

So that we can care for others, it is important we start with ourselves. I learnt this the hard way when I was working in a Trust under huge pressure and I ended up as a patient, though thankfully only for a short period. At that time, I met Michael West face to face, when he was speaking at a conference. He advised me that care for others started with self care. I have tried to do that since and have supported others to do so too.

Self care can include a variety of things, perhaps the most important when work is demanding is that we get enough sleep. We also need to ensure that we stay healthy so that we can protect those in our care. Getting vaccinated against flu is important too for ourselves and others. We also need to eat well, again not always easy when working long hours or if you are struggling to make ends meet financially. If I am travelling and have a long day, I use a slow cooker so that I have hot food ready when I get home. In addition to sleep and eating well, exercise is also important - something I probably don't do enough of, though I try to walk every day. Little treats now and again can also help, this can be anything from mindfully enjoying a coffee and home made cake with a friend to a walk in a lovely forest or near the sea having borrowed a friend's dog - it can be anything that makes you feel happy. It may be looking at a painting and feeling joy. Friends and family are also very important to many. Just a call, txt or meet up can help when things feel overwhelming. Colleagues are also incredibly important at this time of year. If you feel you are struggling, it sometimes just helps to talk to a colleague working in the same environment as you. Finally, down time is really important to stay well so interests and hobbies that are different from work are really helpful.

In the forthcoming Twitter chat, I look forward to discussing some of the following themes:

1. What ideas do you use to stay well in winter?

2. What are the little treats you use to ensure you stay positive?

3. How can colleagues help? Do you know who to go to if you are struggling?

4. What other organisations can help?

5. What ideas do you have to eat healthily when work is very busy?

6. What one top tip would you give someone struggling to stay well this winter?

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