September Journal Prompts

In honor of the One Line a Day Reflection Journal I published, as well as the importance mental health and self care play in this blog- I am going to share journal prompts every month. Journaling has a variety of benefits and it has really helped me on my mental health journey.

Some benefits of journaling include:

  • Reduce stress and anxiety
  • Find inspiration
  • Track progress and growth
  • Make connections between thoughts

The One Line a Day Reflection Journal is a journal I published to help those who are new to journaling or have struggled with consistency in the past. It is a simple, one line reflection every day. Weekly, you have a guided reflection. And each week, you get a quote to help encourage and support you. My friend did the cover art. It’s really a beautiful reflection of both of our mental health journey. The proceeds help to support Nurses Supporting Nurses, an organization I founded that provides free and low cost support groups to nurses and CNAs. If you are interested in joining a support group, visit https://nursessupportingnurses.com

To purchase the One Line a Day journal on Amazon, click here.

September Intentions

Happy September! I have always loved September. The days are still warm, but fall is slowly creeping in. It’s also my birthday month! I feel like the summer literally flew by. I’m partially wanting to hold on to the lazy days of summer, but also SO excited for the beautiful fall days! If you didn’t know, pumpkin is back at Starbucks (and pretty much everywhere else!) So even if it’s 90 degree like it is here in Greenville, you should treat yourself! This is 2022 and we don’t live by arbitrary rules anymore.

I have shared a lot about my physical and mental health healing journey on the blog. Last fall, I was diagnosed with PTSD, depression, and anxiety after working through the pandemic as a nurse. In January, I tested positive for Covid and ended up with long haul covid. Chronic fatigue, pain, and heart palpitations are a few of the symptoms. I feel I am making improvements on both my mental and physical health but it’s been a long road.

I want to continue to practice what I preach and focus on holistic practices and wellness I can do along with the western medicine I’m using- medication. I believe a combination of the two can really help a lot of people heal. I don’t think medication and therapy is enough, you need to work on supporting your full body through other practices as well.

Today, I’m sharing some intentions I’m setting to try to support my continued mental, emotional, and physical healing journey. I would love to hear your September Intentions below!

Affirmations 

I write affirmations throughout the week for various things with Nurses Supporting Nurses and they really are helping with my mindset and self talk. I am not a believer in the toxic positivity but I do think most of us could work on being more kind to ourselves. My goal is to say my affirmations every morning, and truly work on believing them. To receive affirmations for your week- check out the NSN Instagram (nurses.supporting.nurses) every Sunday.

Mental Health Walks & Yoga

Family walk at Unity Park in Downtown Greenville, SC

I use to walk (actually run a lot of days) daily with my dog, and that is something I have really struggled with on my long haul covid and mental health journey. Chronic pain and fatigue make it really hard to get up and go on a walk a lot of days. However, I know my body and mental health needs movement and time outside. I also have ventured into yoga over the past few months and I feel its helpful for my joint pain and it’s a great way to practice mindfulness. This month I hope to do at least 3 walks a week and 2 yoga sessions a week. I am working on making modified, manageable goals/intentions for myself. I use to run 4-5 days a week and now a walk around the block can be hard. So I need to find activities that bring me joy without increasing pain or fatigue. Yoga and walks so far have been great.

Nutrition

One of my favorite meals I made us recently! Greek salad with homemade dressing, salmon, and jasmine rice!

Constant traveling, not always having your own kitchen, being on the road, can make nutrition hard. Add in work and helping my husband run a business. All of this, and food can kind of become just a quick necessity to survival. I have been trying to incorporate more vegetables, fruit, and lean means into our diet. I have to say, when I add in more nutrient dense food- I honestly feel better. I’m not saying I am perfect, but I definitely notice a change in my energy levels and pain. And I’m not here to say “junk” food (not a term I use) is the enemy, I definitely have been indulging in some pumpkin treats as I find them! But, adding in a salad (I am LOVING greek salad with homemade greek dressing) or having fruit as a snack (apple and PB is forever my fav!) is definitely helpful. This month I hope to continue to focus on feeding my body better and adding in even more fruits & vegetables.

What are your September intentions? I’d love to hear about them below!

Self Care: A necessity to preventing burn out

If I’m honest, I don’t really care for the word burn out. I have experienced burn out many times over my career- but I feel the term puts a lot of the blame on us as nurses and not enough of the blame on the extremely broken system we work in. I do think by just the nature of healthcare, burnout will happen. However, if we had a system that truly supported us, I think it would happen a lot less and it would be a lot less severe.

You may read the title and think “well you just said we aren’t to blame but the title says we need self care.” HUMANS need self care and self compassion to lead healthier and happier lives. I don’t think yoga is going to make it so a broken health system doesn’t effect you, but I do think as nurses we do not do a good enough job of caring for ourselves. Women don’t do a good enough job of caring for ourselves. Mothers don’t do a good enough job of caring for themselves. HUMANS don’t do a good enough job… You get the point. I am not here with some toxic positivity to tell you if you take a bubble bath after work all the systemic issues will go away. I am here to say you- as a human- deserve to treat yourself with love and compassion.

Finding the Self Care for You

One type of self care isn’t right for everyone. As I have become more serious about my healing journey, I have learned that I needed to be more intentional about how, when, and what type of self care I need to do. Things that I felt I would never be able to enjoy- like meditation or yoga- I am now starting to explore. Have an open mind when deciding on practices you will incorporate to help with your stress- both at your job and at home.

Time in Nature

Time in nature is by far one of my favorite forms of self care! There is a variety of ways to use nature to help with stress reduction, improve quality of sleep, and lower anxiety and depression. Some of my favorite things include kayaking, hiking, camping, and spending time at the beach. The Nature Nurse wrote a great guest blog post: 4 Simple Nature Practices to Heal the Weary Nurse: Guest Blog Post.

Boundaries

One of the best forms of self care is one that is far outside of a face mask, bubble bath, or a walk in the woods. Boundaries. In order to take care of yourself- you have to have boundaries. I lacked boundaries for a large part of my life and career- and when I started learning about boundaries and how important they are, life and my career got better. One of my favorite former charge nurses who is still a very good friend of mine taught me the phrase “I’m sorry, I can’t.” That’s it. That’s the phrase you need. You don’t owe anyone an explanation as to why you can’t join a committee, pick up an extra shift, volunteer at a function, go out to dinner, etc. You have to protect yourself and your time in order to life a happier, healthier life.

Join the NSN News Letter

The Nurses Supporting Nurses newsletter is a monthly email to help you find new ways to practice self care. It includes journal prompts, self care activities, and more! It is free and I would love for you to sign up here!

What self care would you like to commit to this weekend? I planned to see a good friend and spend sometime outside with my dog and husband.

 

 

From Nursing to Web? A nurses journey to a new career.

Covid life changes

I mentioned in a recent life update post  that I was now working with my husband’s business- HypedUp Studios a web agency that does everything from web design to SEO to marketing. This is totally outside the realm of what I thought I would ever be doing- especially considering I have my Bachelors in Nursing. However, Covid brought a lot of struggle into my life. I was diagnosed with PTSD after 2 years of working on Covid units. Then, I tested positive for Covid in January- and ended up with long haul symptoms. Between these two diagnsois- I was unable to return to work on the floor. My husband and I (and my doctors) decided it was best I take more time away from nursing to work on healing both my physical and mental health. You can read more about my long haul symptoms here. I have started medication, been seeing a therapist, and now I am working on getting back into some light, modified exercise and eating better.

Exploring something new

During my time off- I started to help a little with my husbands business (he works from home). I downloaded Canva and started learning about graphic design. I began watching YouTube and reading articles. My husband began to teach me some things he knows (he has a degree in computer programing and graphic design). I always had a little interest in the web design and content creating world- I have had this blog since 2016 and built most of it myself! However, I started getting really interested in the full business side of a web agency.

I took over the business social media accounts and started doing some marketing. I helped build/design a website. Quickly, I realized how much I was loving the “work” I was doing and that it really didn’t even feel like “work” (most of the time!) So I started taking on more tasks, learning more, and now- I would say that my husband and I are running HypedUp together. There is a lot he does that I can’t do, but I am starting to learning some VERY basic coding. I do web design, content writing, social media management, logo and branding, and marketing. If you told me a year ago I would have been part of Bradley’s business- I NEVER would have believed you. But I am loving it, and while I’m still quite new, I think I am growing and learning everyday.

Growing on my own

I have my own clients for social media management and have brought in my own clients for web design as well! I never imagined marketing to be a strength or something I enjoy- but it is! I’m also working to learn the office side of things- invoices, keeping books, etc. May sound silly, but it’s nothing I have ever done! Thankfully my mom has a business degree and has been helpful. I’m thankful my husband was so open to me helping and he is patient with teaching me. Working with a spouse is a whole other blog post, ha! But I am thankful we are a great team and it has in way made our marriage and life even better!

Still a Nurse

I still have an active nursing license- and I still consider myself to be working as a nurse (although it took some therapy to realize this) Nurses Supporting Nurses is an organization I started and we host weekly support group for nurses, CNAs, and new to practice nurses. We also have free resources like a report course and self care newsletter for nurses. I have a lot in the works for this and I consider mentorship and facilitating support groups to be a form of nursing! I also use my nursing skills and knowledge in new ways with HypedUp. One being working with nurse entrepreneurs! We are able to offer a unique offering by having a nurse to work with on the web part of your business. I’m able to “interpret” nurse language to developer language and I think it makes me a good point of contact for our nurse clients. I have also been looking at PRN (as needed) nursing jobs and if the right one comes along- I will consider taking that as well.

I’m going to end with a shameless plug- If you have any web needs- email campaign, SEO, logo and branding, responsive web design- send HypedUp a message! Mention this blog post and get 10% off one service! We would love to work with you!

We also offer a nurse appreciation discount on all our services! And a unique offer is you will be working with a nurse who will understand your business from a nurse’s perspective and can help translate things to the web developer (my husband) who may not otherwise understand your unique language and needs!

What is you current (or former career)? Have you made a change/are you considering a change?

“Pet E-Therapy” August 2022

Hello & Happy Friday! Welcome to “Pet E-Therapy!” A blog post which is basically an excuse to share cute pictures of my pets! One of my favorite parts of working in the hospital was when the therapy dogs came to visit- especially when they would bring them to visit staff! I felt like the vibe of the unit instantly shifted. Nurses and CNAs could take a deep breath and become calmer. So, this is my way of giving a little bit of that on the internet every month.

Annabelle & Declan napping together- my fur mom heart can’t take how cute they are!

Our dog who is over the rainbow bridge now, ready to go on a camping trip. That pack was a little big but he loved it.

 

Molly (front) and Sadie when I went on a girls trip to Southport this summer- so cute!

Declan passed out after our long drive to Greenville.

Annabelle being Annabelle 🙂

I hope these photos brought a little joy to your day! Feel free to share some pet photos over on Instagram.

 

Our Jack & Jill Bachelor/Bachelorette Party

I’m taking a little trip down memory lane today and sharing our decision to have a joint bachelor/bachelorette party 3 years ago! I can’t believe it’s been that long!

Why have a party together?

A lot of people were surprised and confused as to why we wanted to combine our parties. This choice is obviously not for everyone! But for us, Bradley and I love to hang out together. And the wedding was about us coming together- so we wanted most the celebrations to involve both of us! We also have a lot of the same friends, and the ones that weren’t we wanted them to be able to meet.

Another thing that a lot of people still comment on- the wedding party all got to know each other before the weekend of the wedding! I have been in weddings where the bridesmaids and groomsmen really dont know each other at all! It was so fun to have the whole wedding party get to hang out and become friends before wedding day. It made wedding day feel even more special and like a big party!

Weekend in the Mountains

One of my fav pics- my best friend/bridesmaid Raven and Maid of Honor/Sister Mackenzie

We chose to rent a house in the mountains of Boone, NC. We originally were planning a beach trip, but Bradley and I also love the mountains! A house where we could all hang out and have plenty of space just felt right. Highly recommend considering renting a house (with a hot tub!) as part of your wedding celebrations.

Girls Day Out

Just because you have a jack and Jill party doesn’t mean you can’t have time with your girls! We planned one day where the girls dressed up and we hired a van to drive us around for the day. We went to brunch, a winery, a roof top bar downtown, and ended at the bar of a local BBQ joint! I got to have quality time with my bridesmaids and the guys got to go on a hike. It was so perfect and I felt added a nice balance to the weekend.

 

Tubing Down the River

The whole wedding party- went tubing! So much fun. And yes, I wore my sash and veil! lol

Honestly, I think one of the BEST parts of the whole weekend was tubing. If you have never been tubing in the mountains, it’s where you intertube 3-4 miles down a river. It was SO much fun having everyone together. We got to chill, have some drinks, chat, and just have a blast in the water. I highly recommend planning a tubing day with your friends or family- whether your getting married or not!

A few more photos…

Because I’m having such a fun time looking at these photos and remembering these sweet memories- a few more photos from one of the best weekends ever.

My husband Bradley and sister in law Stephanie!

Roof Top Bar in Boone, NC with the Bride Tribe!

The Best Decision For Us

Overall, this was the best decision for us! It is still one of my favorite memories not just for the wedding, but of my life! Just because you have a combined party, doesn’t mean you still can’t have your fun girl things or guy things too! Bradley and I are totally not stripper people (it’s fine if YOU are, but it was a no for both of us) and we had no desire to have the raunchy bachelorette/bachelor decor (it was the only stipulation I gave my bridesmaids, ha!) And if we were planning a wedding celebration of this proportion, we each wanted our most favorite person to be there- each other! So a joint party just worked for us. Getting to celebrate marrying the love of your life with all your close friends and family, despite gender, was just the best. I would happily do the whole party all over again!

If you are considering a Jack and Jill party (this is a heteronormative term I know- but we are a straight cis couple so the name worked for us. Any couple should consider having their party together, despite gender!) I HIGHLY recommend doing it, and not caring what other people think. It’s your day, and you deserve to celebrate in the way that works for you and your love!

Drop any questions you have below! Did you do a bachelor or bachelorette party? What did you do? I love to hear all things wedding below!

Journal Prompts August 2022

July got a little busy and time got away from me, so I’m getting the August journal prompts out early! Every month I will share some journal prompts to help you on your journey.

Some benefits of journaling include:

  • Reduce stress and anxiety
  • Find inspiration
  • Track progress and growth
  • Make connections between thoughts

The One Line a Day Reflection Journal is a journal I published to help those who are new to journaling or have struggled with consistency in the past. It is a simple one line reflection every day. Weekly, you have a guided reflection. And each week, you get a quote to help encourage and support you. One of my best friends, Katy Sewell, did the cover art. It’s really a beautiful reflection of both of our mental health journeys. The proceeds help to support Nurses Supporting Nurses, an organization I founded that provides free and low cost support groups to nurses and CNAs. If you are interested in joining a support group, visit https://nursessupportingnurses.com

To purchase the One Line a Day journal on Amazon, click here.

Life Update: August 2022

Hey friends! I hope you are all doing well. I thought I would do a quick life update since we haven’t had the chance to connect the past few weeks. It’s been a summer full of up and downs over here.

Covid Healing- Round 2

If you read my recent post, Contracting C-19 is not a Moral Failing, you know that Bradley and I both contracted Covid the first week of July. He tested positive on Monday and I tested positive on Saturday. Luckily, we were able to take care of each other during the hardest parts of our illness since we weren’t sick at the exact same time. I’m so thankful to Bradley’s brother in law and his girlfriend who dropped off a care package and food for us. As well as my parents who got medications and groceries for us. I also had a lot of family and friends checking on us and offering to have anything we need delivered. I’m so thankful for these amazing people and their kindness.

Bradley was pretty sick and had to get an antibiotic for a secondary respiratory infection. I had fever, chills, body aches, congestion, sinus pain, and fatigue. I already had long haul, so I’m still dealing with some brain fog and fatigue. Thankfully I was already on my heart meds so heart racing and dizziness wasn’t as big of an issue this time.

Nurses Supporting Nurses

Nurses Supporting Nurses is an organization I founded about 5 months ago. It started as a weekly support group for nurses and CNAs, and now I am working to grow it into a business that will help nurses & CNAs in a variety of ways. We recently started our support group for new to practice nurses. If you are a nurse with less than 2 years of experience, I would love to have you join for a place of support and community! We have a lot of things in the works for nurses & CNAs so please consider following along and subscribing to the self care newsletter for monthly self care and to keep up with all our new offerings!

New Career..ish?

I still am a nurse and will always be a nurse in someway I believe, but PTSD and long haul Covid have really changed my perspective as well as my physical abilities the past 8 months. This time away has given me time to try new things. I think this deserves it’s own blog post in the future but I am now working with my husband in the business he owns, Hyped Up Studios. It is a web development and marketing agency. I am doing social media management, web design, dabbling in learning some code, and marketing! I’m loving the change of pace and having a job that allows me to use some more creativity. I never would have believed I would enjoy working in the tech world but so far, I am!

Travel

We are back in Greenville SC for the next couple months. We are excited to be able to see family and friends here and spend some time hiking and in the mountains!

Mental Health Healing

I’m still on my mental health journey and honestly, overall health journey. I really feel like the past 2 years has put a strain on a lot of areas of my life and it’s really going to take some time before I am back to where I want to be. However, I am slowly feeling better and gaining energy. Long haul covid is a battle especially when there isn’t much known about it yet.

Thank you for being here on the blog! I can’t wait to share more things going on BTS at both NSN and PLN! What is new for you? Share something below, I love to connect with you!

Roe v Wade Overturned: Actionable Steps & Resources

Friday, we received the devastating news SCOTUS overturned Roe v Wade- setting up for multiple state to severely restrict or completely make abortion illegal. My heart has been hurting all weekend. I can’t even begin to fathom the death this will bring. The trauma. The pain. To people who can become pregnant, the ones who love them, and the healthcare workers who will care for them. I have a lot to say on the subject, but I am still processing. However, I wanted to share some resources and actionable steps we can take. I have spent the weekend reading and learning and I’m sharing that here today. I’ll continue to learn and share to help you take action. This is a marathon, not a sprint, so remember to take care of yourself along the way.

Donate

Donations is one of the best things we can do to support abortion clinics and access for pregnant people right now. Established organizations need money to get people the help they need.

Carolina Abortion Fund

Provides financial abortion assistance to people in North Carolina and South Carolina.

Planned Parenthood

Planned Parenthood provides abortions, contraception, and other sexual healthcare for free and low cost. They also provide education on sexual health.

National Abortion Funds

Find abortion funds for each of your state to donate (or apply for a fund).

Protest

Protest are an important way to make our voices heard and exercise our first amendment right. However, due to current political climate and extremist, especially involving the issue of abortion, you must be safe. The ACLU has tips on knowing your rights and how to legally and safely organize a protest as well as attend one.

Protesters Rights & Safety

Finding an Abortion Clinic

Abortion Finder

Abortion Finder. Org allows you to search for abortion providers in your area and also gives you information on medication and procedure abortion to help you choose what is right for you. There is also a state by state guide available.

3 Step Plan

Three for Freedom

OB/GYNs are suggesting any person of child bearing age with the organs to get pregnant (Do NOT believe when a doctor tells you “its not possible” unless the organs are gone) to have a 3 step plan to take control and protect their reproductive freedom.

  1. Birth Control
  2. Emergency Contraception
  3. Medication Abortion Pills

These can be ordered on the Three for Freedom website and you do NOT have to be pregnant to order any of this. You can order to protect yourself (or others) and have on hand.

Vote

I feel our politicians and government have failed us by setting us up for this system failure and not putting it into law. However, things will get worst if we do not vote. We have to vote to have a hope at overturning this. Please ensure you are registered to vote and learn about your Representatives political stance before voting.

Vote.gov gives information on registering to vote and requirement for each state.

Treatment of Medication Abortion

One thing I think is important to note as anti-choice laws go into place across the country, you do NOT have to disclose if you are having a medical vs spontaneous abortion (miscarriage). Healthcare workers cannot tell, and they are treated the same. If you have complications from a medication abortion- please seek medical treatment. And do not feel you have to disclose you took the abortion pill.

It breaks my heart to have to tell people they can and possibly need to withhold information from healthcare workers. We are suppose to be a source of support and non-judgment. But I want you to feel safe seeking help. And please know a majority of healthcare workers are adamantly against this ruling and we support you and your autonomy over your body.

Emotional Support

NSN Support Group

Nurses Supporting Nurses is an organization I founded to provide free and low cost support groups and other mental health resources to nurses and CNAs. On Thursday June 30 at 8 pm EST I will be hosting a support group for those who are looking for a safe space to come and process their feelings about Roe v Wade being overturned. It does not feel right to have this be for only nurses, so I have opened this to anyone who needs a safe and healing space. Please fill out the form below to receive the Google Meet link on Thursday for the support group. This will be a confidential and safe virtual group.

I would also like to have a NSN support group for healthcare workers who will experience trauma and distress over this ruling. If this is something that would interest you, please reach out.

Join Us

* indicates required



 

Share Information

Even if you cannot get pregnant, please share this information. We have to let people know they can still get this essentially healthcare. They can donate and make a difference. We have to help each other.

Also, healthcare workers, we are NOT mandated to report abortions. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO REPORT. You should NOT be giving information without a court order. Please continue to protect our patients right to privacy and bodily autonomy.

Please share this post and place any resources you have in the comments

(or email if you are more comfortable)

 

If you would like to support me and Nurses Supporting Nurses- an organization I founded to provide free and low cost support groups and mental health resources to nurses, please consider a small contribution. This is never expected, but always appreciated.

Support NSN with a Small Monetary Gift

“One Line a Day Reflection Journal”

Hello! I hope you are doing well. I wanted to do a post to share an accomplishment I am excited for and proud of- one of my best friends since childhood and I published a journal together!

“One Line a Day Reflection Journal” is a journal authored by me and cover art by Katy Sewell. This journal is designed for everyone, but especially those who are new to journaling or maybe have tried but not successful at staying consistent in the past. There is a Sunday-Saturday space to write a simple one line open reflection on your day. At the end of the week there is a guided reflection. There is also a weekly inspirational or encouraging quote.

The journal is available on Amazon and the fund will go to growing Nurses Supporting Nurses- a healing space for nurses and CNAs of all specialties. We provide free support groups and other mental health resources to nurses.

Purchase Journal on Amazon

Thank you for your continued support of the blog and my journey to help my fellow nurses and CNAs!

Support NSN

If you would like to make a small contribution to Support Nurses Supporting Nurses, you can via the link below. Contributions are never expected, but always appreciated! Thank you!

Make a Contribution to NSN