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Nurses, give yourself a GIFT this festive season


So here we are, rapidly rushing towards another Christmas break - a break for some and pretty much “business as usual” for many on the front line (except there are a few more biscuits and chocs around!)

If you are struggling under the winter pressures, exacerbated by the cuts in staff and resources, then it’s time to start looking after YOU. Begin to put yourself first and take some time out, some time to relax and change your focus. Sometimes we cannot change what happens to us, but we can change our response.

Give yourself a GIFT:

Gratitude – however bad things seem there is always something good going on, and keeping a gratitude journal can help you to focus more on what is good and less on what is wrong. Many happiness and positive psychology books recommend this technique – it is really simple and very effective.

Have a notebook handy that you write in each day or a few times each week. The end of the day is good as it gets you in a more positive frame of mind for sleep….

Write down 5–20 things you are grateful for - things that make you smile, give you joy, or that you are thankful for. It can be really simple - small things like someone saying thank you, your car starting in the cold weather, getting someone home, hugging your child or partner or even just a nice cup of tea. It doesn’t matter – it’s the act of gratitude that matters. At this time of year we often review our year and look back at what has happened and where we are now. You can do a gratitude list for the year – there will be so many items on it you will feel more positive about your life!

Inspiration – Find something or someone that inspires you. I remember when I was feeling very negative about my job I found it hard to feel inspired. I now listen to audios – free online – and have lots of people that inspire me and encourage me to take steps to improve my life.

For you, it may be someone at work, a favourite book or song or activity, a spiritual practice, a stage show, a place in nature – take the time to tap into whatever inspires you over the busy festive season.

For a free inspirational audio on the nine C’s of inspired leadership go to and leave your name and email address in the box.

Fun – Have some fun! This means YOU - not just making sure your kids have fun. Even though you are a grown-up, fun and play have been shown to be effective and raising self-esteem and mood. While it is so dark, plan some activities outside to get your daily quota of light, plan some party games or fun activities and include all ages. Go sledging again and re-ignite your inner child!

Thanks – Thank others for their hard work when at work. Give positive feedback, and see what the reaction is. Most people (once they get over the shock) love to get compliments and positive feedback so start to make it a habit. It can be an important factor in raising morale - a lot of people who resign from jobs say they never felt appreciated, so start to appreciate your colleagues today!

Have a happy festive season and remember to give yourself this GIFT.


Readers' comments (4)

  • Do this and we'll roll over and accept all the pay and increment freezes gladly. I thought the author of this would have been Andrew Langsley applying a plaster to the above proposals

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  • I think this can be used more as a way to cope with the day to day hardships of life, not necessarily for work related issues.

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  • @Anonymous | 25-Dec-2010 0:11 am

    no, not andrew langsley. just a life coach trying to sell her wares (oops, i meant give you a free gift!) which would be fair enough were it not in the opinion section of a professional journal.

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