By Sandy Goodwin, RN, BSN
Perched on a branch of a tall tree outside my bedroom window is a tiny hummingbird nest. It’s hard to see, so well camouflaged among the mossy branches. I only noticed it when I saw Mama Bird enter it. There she sits, patiently waiting until her little ones are hatched. She leaves her spot only to feed herself, fluttering her wings and quickly darting away to find nourishment. Then she returns to sit once again and wait. She is patient as the process unfolds.
Patience is a lifelong lesson for me. When that virtue was being passed out to souls about to enter the world, I must have been busy doing something else and missed the gift. I like getting things done and waiting feels inefficient, so I admire little Mama Bird as she rests quietly and patiently. To sit upon her nest for the two to three weeks of incubation that’s required, she probably had to learn to cultivate patience. Maybe that’s what we all need to learn to do more of, cultivate patience. It’s something I’m practicing these days.
In my work with stressed-out nurses, I often ask them, “What if you took five minutes each day to do nothing – no phone, no devices, no technology - nothing? What if you just sat quietly, peacefully, with your eyes closed or looking out the window, and cultivated patience? And when your busy mind starts its chatter, which it probably will, what if you said to it, ‘I don’t have to do anything right now, except this?’”
Ask yourself these same questions now. What are your answers? Does even five minutes doing nothing seem too long? Then start with two. It’s not the length of time that matters, it’s practicing it that counts. Try it today.
Constant doing adds to the stress in a nurse’s life. It speeds you up and prevents you from enjoying the beauty of the moment. So find a place to “nest” and give yourself a few minutes to cultivate patience. Your mind and body will thank you.
Sandy Goodwin, RN, BSN helps nurses learn how to stop the energy drain of stress, so they can re-energize their mind and body. For a free copy of Sandy’s guide “10 Ways to Take a Break When You Don’t Have Time”, visit her website: www.breakthestresscycle.com.
Sandy Goodwin, RN, BSN
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