August is National Wellness Month! Though the month is coming to a close, as Jennifer Dressler wrote in 2020:
“Let’s Make Well-Being a Priority All Year Long.”
It can be challenging to find the time or energy to prioritize one’s own well-being and self-care, especially when your career is dedicated to caring for others. But “it is not selfish to take care of yourselves, it is necessary!” We shouldn't wait for extreme situations or emergencies to put our own oxygen mask on first.
If you’re looking for ideas, the American Psychiatric Nurses Association put together this list of self-care tips specific for nurses. It can be difficult to find the time for self-care -- Mental Health America suggests starting off with small goals. Even setting aside just 10-15 minutes a day for yourself to do something you enjoy can help make a difference.
In addition to being National Wellness Month, August is National Water Quality Month and National Eye Exam Month. The United Nations declared the scarcity of fresh, unpolluted water an ongoing global crisis, and consistent access to clean water is a privilege many of us take for granted. Additionally, half of kids under 12 have not had an eye exam and it is estimated that 12.2 million adults need vision correction.
The 2030 Future of Nursing Report recommends nursing organizations address social determinants of health in order to achieve health equity. To provide the best possible care, it is important to be aware of different populations' access (or lack thereof) to clean water, as well as their access to regular healthcare visits, and to work toward addressing these key wellness factors.
Even as National Wellness Month wraps up today, we must keep up efforts year-round to care for ourselves as well as those around us. Please take good care!