Feeling jittery. A foggy brain. Forgetting things. Feeling less-than. All of these are signs that may indicate a mind that’s too full. Full minds have consequences, including the following risks:
- Errors (https://www.myamericannurse.com/mindfulness-for-medication-safety/)
- Increased fatigue (https://www.myamericannurse.com/an-integrative-approach-to-heal-the-overworked-weary-or-traumatized-nurse/)
- Decreased coping after traumatic events (https://www.myamericannurse.com/covid-19-and-ptsd-in-frontline-nurses/)
Our minds can fill up from many sources. In this post, I would like to share a self-nursing intervention that has resulted in caring group that’s sustained itself over the past 2 years. In May 2021 we lost a dear colleague to a motorcycle accident. He was young, vital, and the light of the room. His job was to greet our patients and register them when they arrived for an appointment. Our patients appreciated his welcoming smile and caring demeanor. Our team appreciated his calm presence and care for us. His death impacted our lives. Our minds became full of sadness and grief, making it difficult to focus at work.
With the staff from his department, we shared the story of how his presence, and now physical absence, affected our individual lives. We recognized a need to clear our minds of the fullness of our feelings so we could do the work of caring for our patients and their families. Together, we decided to implement a 10-minute meditation break.
Searching for 10-minute meditations online resulted in many options to choose from based on topics like stress, grief, and gratitude. Every Wednesday, I hosted a virtual space for the 10-minute meditation. This online gathering started on time and ended on time. Shared thoughts or reflections occurred in the ongoing chat stream. We also posted videos in the chat stream for those who couldn’t attend but still wanted to participate.
We captured attendance and “likes” of the different videos. The average attendance was four and we refined our video choices based on topic, voice, music, and prompting. We touched base about continuing after 6 weeks, 6 months, and 12 months. Now, in our third year, we’re expanding by offering a Tuesday and Thursday session in addition to Wednesday.
Each person comes to the meditation as an individual with a full mind. In our group meditation experiences, we discover that we’re not alone and can return to our work refreshed.
Amy E. Rettig, DNP, MALM, MSN, BSN, RN, ACNS-BC, PMHNP-BC, provides nursing care for both professional and non-professional caregivers. She presents, publishes and studies well-being (developing the caregiver within) from the perspectives of holism, caring relationships, and systems.