Becoming a nurse can be daunting – “daunting” is an understatement. By definition, the nursing profession is one of the easiest to place in the list of the most challenging career ever created. A single 8-hour shift of a nurse is not something that can easily compared with other jobs.
In a single shift, an average nurse could’ve done at least 50 tasks without even getting through the mid-shift. That scenario is considered as a “normal nurse day.” On the hard grind, a nurse can cater to half the population of a single ward; while some may think that this type of scenario never happens, it does, and many nurses out there can attest to it. Bottom line is, nursing is TOUGH, but nurses are TOUGHER. We are versatile, adaptive, resilient, unbreakable.
Despite all these qualities of courage, bravery, and valiance – we nurses are also humans. We crumble at times. We succumb to burnout, and we also feel STRESS. That’s is why many nurses may often become very trendy with the new kinds of stuff, or people may often find nurses in coffee shops, cinemas, spas – anything that screams RELAX. The reason is that nurses deal with a ton of stress during their shifts.
One of the downsides to these types of recreation is that it is expensive, and the satisfaction that we nurses get from these type of activities usually doesn’t last long – it’s just a rush of good vibes that disappears in a flicker. Other activities have lasting effects but are honestly stressful in the beginning – like working out or dieting. These two are prime examples of tedious activities and, at the same time, take time before we see the result. It’s not that it’s terrible; it’s very beneficial. There are just things that are better if we are looking for ways to destress.
Here is where YOGA plays its part. This article will dissect the essence of yoga and why it’s the ultimate answer to the stress that we nurses tackle every single shift. After reading this article, we hope to enlighten you that when nurses learn yoga – NURSING BECOMES EASY!
The Origin of Yoga
The origin of yoga dates back to 5,000 – 10,000 years ago. The exact date of its creation is undefined. There are a lot of discussions and confusion about the origin of yoga. The confusion mainly comes from the thought of yoga being a spiritual belief or a religious practice. Though most of us practice yoga as a means of exercise, it is far more important for others – especially the Hindus.
But the most neutral and evidenced-based origin of yoga points out to the Vedas. Vedas are Sanskrit scriptures of songs, hymns, and philosophies used by the Brahmans (Vedic priests). While the whole yoga is more than just the stretching and the breathing exercises that we know now, many yogis do it for self-actualization – being in the present existence of life as we know it. This is by far the most unique aspect of what most of us know about yoga – that it helps us connect to our true selves and connect with everything that is happening inside us and within us. Yoga helps us appreciate life itself.
Why Do Yoga?
Yoga must be one, if not the most, relaxing exercise available out there. It doesn’t only make us burn fat or keep in shape, but it also cleanses our minds from the mental and emotional stresses that we deal with being a nurse and saving lives every day. Many exercises are strenuous and need an enormous amount of effort to do; in short, it is stressful. Yoga is the polar opposite of that. It is heavily focused on breathing and stretching. It is suitable for our restless feet and great for our thirst for serenity. When one is doing yoga, it’s as if things are concentrated on the slow movements. It’s as if the only important thing is the air that goes in and out of our bodies.
It’s the search for our deepest and truest nature while we strive to find the balance between the things that are needed and the things that are wanted; and all the things that had happened just don’t matter during those moments. It’s the escape that leads to the travel of finding acceptance of what we are. It’s a moment wherein all the attention is given to the most important being in the world – YOU. Yoga teaches the concept of self-importance. All the important things to every one of us are “important” in context because we declared it to be important. As soon as we perish, the things that we valued most may not be valued similarly to the way we did.
Yoga will help us understand that to give our best; we need to find out our true potential first. Because how would one know that he or she is giving the very best when one doesn’t even truly know who is he/she is? And as much as we try to deny the fact that we put so little time at understanding our true selves, it’s creeping on us now and then.
It’s where the mid-life crisis or the depression often comes from; when we don’t find our purpose, our passion, and living life without a goal. Yoga will help us realize that we’re never out of dreams, for there is always something to improve on – especially to ourselves.
How Does Yoga Make Nursing Easy?
As much as nursing is a difficult job and is not for everyone, especially for the faint-hearted, other jobs also have the same intensity as ours – some even harder. Let’s take entrepreneurship as an example. Entrepreneurs vary when it comes to their jobs’ difficulties, but for those who are true to their calling, they often spend long hours to the point that an hour of sleep is considered a treat to their tight schedules.
They might not be out there saving people’s lives, but the amount of effort they put into what they do is likely to have the same toll with the nurses and other health care providers. The reason why entrepreneurs are brought into this topic is that most of the most successful entrepreneurs have a ritual or a practice that they incorporate in their very tight schedules.
Most of these rituals include meditation or what’s more popularly known as “priming”. This is to set their day the right way. Yoga is a form of meditation that includes actions that connect us to our roots. Thus if we do yoga before we start our day or our shift, it will boost our positivity and will fuel our optimism to face whatever type of stress that our jobs have to offer – we already have an advantage from the beginning because we primed our minds to become optimistic and positive before going into the field.
The Final Cut
We all wanted to have a scapegoat to all the life’s pressures that we are dealing with. No matter what we do, problems and misfortunes will knock on our doors from time to time. We will never be able to avoid these negativities, especially with the job that we are in, which is healthcare.
This is truly a job that requires versatility, along with skills that may become a variable between a patient’s life or death. Yoga is something that we nurses and health care workers can do to tell ourselves that “it’s going to be okay”, yoga is the time we need for ourselves that creates a reason for having a “me” time. Yoga does not erase the problems and pressures. It doesn’t magically make all the bad emotions go away. Yoga simply makes us realize that we are always BIGGER than whatever it is we are facing.
It teaches us that no problem is given to us without us having the ability to handle it. It helps us understand that all the things we see, feel, and perceive are all based on our perspectives. Yoga is not the breathing, nor the stretching, nor the result of becoming fit. Yoga is the being here and now. Yoga is the feeling of being present and being truly alive. And being truly alive is to feel all the emotions that life has to offer – the happiness and the pain.
Yoga teaches us to be humble during victories and unbreakable during defeats. Yoga is the thought of being one with the world and understanding how little we are in this enormously vast universe, but at the same time, it makes us see how big of an impact we have or how significant our roles are individually in this world that we live in.
“So inhale deep, stand as tall as you can, exhale, and live.” – Yogi