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Journal of Nursing

9 Steps to an Exceptionally Happy Day at Work

Cynthia Howard RN, CNC, PhD [email protected]


Nurses are practical and purposeful. When your job is managing the well-being of other people it can be tough to put yourself in the schedule. Most nurses I know find caring for everyone else easy and the very thought of taking care of themselves may seem selfish.

Yet, to achieve true balance one must learn to receive in the cycle of giving. Otherwise giving is just a “job” and builds resentment and feelings of powerlessness. This process starts with an awareness of what is going on within you. This article has 9 ways you can tune in to yourself and support your own needs in order to give from a place of fullness.

Here are 9 tips to power up your day:

1. Surround yourself with positive people in order to stay positive. People who are negative, gossip and or complain bring everyone down. It is best to simply ignore gossip and negativity rather than engage and or try to change someone’s opinion.

2. Stay in the present. Right now is all that really matters. When you are at work and thoughts about last weeks argument or yesterday’s misunderstanding come up - let it go. Why would you want to ruin a perfectly good moment by ruminating over the past or worrying about the future?

3. Be honest with yourself. You are the only person you can truly count on. Are you ignoring your own needs, waiting “until?” What do you need right now? The problem with chronic stress is this awareness suddenly shows up and you are flooded with the thought, “ I need a new job or a new life.” when along the way there have been cues that would support you in the moment.

4. Make a plan for your day, your week and your career. From your food plan to your exercise to your social activities, set up your day and have a plan. Most importantly make a plan for your career so you have a roadmap to carry you through those times you might feel overwhelmed and want to just throw in the towel.

5. Be kind and polite to yourself. The way you treat yourself sets the tone for how you treat other people. Tune into your self talk. Are you berating yourself, critical and do you ever thank yourself for all you do? Take time to enjoy your efforts and appreciate all you do. Feel good about it.

6. Be open to new ideas and thoughts. Is your first thought and or answer No? Chronic stress can set this up as a way to “protect yourself” from more demands or the stress of learning something new. Being flexible and adaptable builds new skills. Learn to say, “That is interesting,” giving you time to think it through. In doing so you are supportive of the other person and acknowledge the risk they took to bring up the idea.

7. Focus on what is good in your work day rather than focusing on what is wrong. This changes your entire perspective which has the power to change all your relationships. It also feels better to look at what is working. Activate an optimistic attitude, hopeful and positive about the outcome, while being realistic about the challenges.

8. Believe in yourself. Being able to accept yourself, knowing your strengths while also being optimistic about your ability to grow, learn and succeed, gives you the confidence to take the next step. Embrace new experiences and challenges knowing you have what it takes to go the next step.

9. Celebrate other people’s victories and successes. Steps so far have focused on building a strong sense of self in order to increase self-awareness. And at the end of the day, it is also about supporting your coworkers, the patient and family. To be able to cheer on others, you have to be able to do the same for yourself which is what steps 1-8 are about. In this way you come full circle and achieve balance.

Try these 9 steps and build yourself an exceptionally happy day at work.

Cynthia Howard RN, CNC, PhD, CEO, Chief Energy Officer, is a Master Coach and can help you develop your strengths as a nurse and leader to lead an exceptionally happy life. Click for a complimentary Discovery session. Visit www.vibrantradianthealth.com.

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