Valentine’s Day! A lot has been spoken and written about the holiday dedicated to love. You’ve probably taken great care to show your family, your friends, and maybe even your partner how much they mean to you. But have you ever thought about how you could better love your co-workers?
The Roman philosopher Seneca said, “Wherever there is a human being, there is an opportunity for kindness.” With that spirit of selflessness, here are a few ideas of how you can share the love with your colleagues this Valentine’s Day.
According to research by UC Berkeley, gratitude changes us: thankful people are more likely to be happier and less depressed. By expressing your appreciation to your colleagues, you’re making their lives better — as well as your own.
To really get the benefits of gratitude, write a handwritten thank you note. People often keep thank you notes for years, because of how rare they are in today’s digital world. Instead of sending a thank you email, text, or Facebook message, write a note by hand. A thank you note is tangible evidence of love, which is pretty sweet.
Keep your head held high, even when you’re having a memorable (read: terrible) shift. Try “embracing the suck,” which is something the military coined. “Embracing the suck” looks like this: practice positive body language while complaining. The next time you’re cleaning up vomit, say something like, “Whew this really stinks!” with a smile and cheerful tone.
Of course, you’ll want to avoid saying anything unkind in earshot of patients or their families. But if you maintain a positive demeanor, in spite of the circumstances, you’ll encourage other nurses to have fun with how crazy a shift can get.
Hospitals have hurting people. Some patients deal with their medical issues and resulting stress with grace, and others…don’t. There’s always that one patient that’s a little difficult. Show your fellow nurses some love by volunteering yourself to take care of that patient. They’re sure to appreciate you stepping up.
In the medical field, there’s an emergency happening every single day. You’ll often encounter people in less than ideal circumstances. People will be short on patience, even your coworkers. As a nurse, not taking things personally is part of the gig. If a frustrated doctor is short with you, try to not let it affect you. Always remember that you are a strong nurse. `
Stress happens, but don’t let another person’s attitude become your problem. Chances are, they’re short on sleep or time, so they’re taking it out on the closest person. By projecting confidence in the face of chaos, you’ll inspire other nurses to do the same. They’ll feel encouraged and inspired, just by your presence.
By saying thanks, embracing the suck, assigning yourself to difficult patients, and staying unfazed, your colleagues will feel appreciated and loved. How do you share the love with your fellow nurses and doctors? Let us know in the comments.
By Aubrey Schieuer