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Introducing ShesThatRN

This is the post excerpt.

This blog allows me to freely express my journey as a nurse, author, speaker, writer, business owner and blogger. The title simply identifies my gift to the world as a nurse. There are so many phenomenal nurses out there who exemplify “ShesThatRN.” I guess you know by now that it specifies females, but know that I understand there are male nurses who “HesThatRN” as well. You are not forgotten and I am grateful to share my platform with you also. Let’s just be ourselves, talk about the issues, come up with solutions, and take this journey together. My blog is my opinion and my truth and I choose to share it with the world. You may agree, disagree or have no comment and that is fine. Please be mindful that when commenting, it is important to be respectful no matter your opinion. I welcome you to come along for this ride as I learn about myself and share that with you. When it’s all said and done, I am my nurse sister and brother’s keeper!

Practicing Peace

Well, hello, my amazing people. I have been busy being busy and haven’t written in a while. But here I am again to share a little bit of my life’s journey with you once again.

I’ve been practicing being at peace with myself, any decisions I make, and the storms that often hit what is known as “life.” I have grown up being a very highly anxious and panicky individual. Some of that has to do with being an empath, but the other part is that I’ve never learned good coping skills. Well, listen up! It can take some time, work, and effort, but it can definitely happen for you. I was able to pray and ask for it, then work on obtaining it actively. But what does that look like?
To start, it takes acknowledging that something is going on that prevents you from maintaining your peace. I had to look at my stressors and my triggers. What was causing them, and why I reacted the way I did. It took a LOT of letting go of things and people. Initially, I did a lot of self-awareness and deep breathing when I felt my peace was being disturbed. Now, I’ve literally gotten to the place where I just don’t let things affect me as much. I had something happen this week that would usually send me into a panic attack. Instead, I was so calm and handled it with a peace that went beyond what I expected or thought possible. I just looked at the situation and said it is what it is, and now I move on to something else.

How wonderful it is when you can get into the practice of being at peace within. And when things happen that throw you off balance, you can stop, look at the situation and talk your way through it without feeling like you are having a heart attack. Whew, now that’s progress. My words of encouragement to you are to “actively practice” being in a place of peace. Life is life, and it will often throw curveballs, but it’s how we respond that will determine the outcome of our emotional response to those things. When you refuse to allow people, places, and things to steal your peace, you’ll find yourself in a space with a whole “Do Not Disturb” sign inadvertently written all over you. Peace…choose it…live it… and love it.

Until Next Time,

ShesThatRN

Why Don’t You Talk About It?

As a society, I feel that we don’t really talk about things. Not the things that actually matter anyway. When I say that, I mean that we are dishonest about how we feel, what we are feeling, and what we go through as individuals. There isn’t usually transparency when it comes to the personal things in our lives. And I’m sure there are reasonable and justifiable reasons for this decision. I know I have reasons for my reservations when it comes to what I disclose and to whom. My biggest motivation is people are not good at listening. Just as any other acquired learned behavior, listening has to be practiced to become efficient at it.

In general, I don’t think most people know how to be active listeners. We listen with the intent to judge, fix, or give our opinions on matters. So, how do we fix this mindset? What are some ways to become active listeners? I think we can ask the person what it is they need or are looking for from us as the listener. We can also listen, and if you know the person well enough, you’ll be able to pick up on what they need from you. I know with me that if people start injecting their life situation into the conversation or just cut me off to try and take over the conversation, I completely shut down. I won’t speak anymore about what I was trying to say and probably won’t ever trust myself with them again.

It’s frustrating when there’s no one to listen or the person “supposedly” listening interrupts or speaks harshly about your situation. You don’t know the state of mind that individual is in or what they’re going through. Your words or active listening can be the “thing” between life and death sometimes. So, it’s essential to take the time to gauge what the talker needs. I know I have discussed this in a previous blog, but I thought it nice to readdress it when so many people are suffering in this world. People have lost their jobs, been laid off, and at home with family 24hrs a day. If we didn’t have good coping skills, to begin with, and are trying to handle being in a pandemic with so many uncertainties to their futures can add additional stressors.

If someone reaches out and tries to talk to you, either ask or listen to see what they need from you. When you’re actively listening, you can even figure out when a person’s not telling you what they really want to say. That is if you know them well enough. The point is to try to be the best active listener possible and let people know what you need from them when you call to talk about your feelings, life, etc. Everybody needs somebody! Especially during these times of high stress and transformation in our lives. Be good.

Until Next Time,

ShesThatRN, LLC

Lazy Days Count

We are always moving and shaking. I have come to realize when you move, move, move by the time you stop, you’re exhausted and need a day to do nothing but “slide.” At least that’s my belief anyway, lol. Your body tells you when you need to stop, even when you don’t want to listen. I’ve learned to listen to my body and plan around my lazy days. Saturdays and Sundays are my lazy days. Because even when I have a day off during the week, it usually entails taking care of personal business outside of work. So, today I’ve been in bed most of the day. I mean, I got up to eat and right back in bed. I was so tired from a full week and driving back and forth. I have risen to do some laundry, clean my room, and eat. And now I’m writing this blog. Just remember it is okay to have lazy days because they count. I’m going back to being lazy now, so I’ll talk to you guys later. Keep sliding, as my dad says.

It’s Working

So, you know how people make all these resolutions for the new year? Well, I’m not one of them, lol. I don’t make any because I don’t feel like I ever have to wait until a specific date to make changes. I started making changes before the new year’s inception. I started my keto journey, which has been immensely rewarding. I mean, it’s not easy getting motivated to do anything, but you just have to make the decision and do it. And when you “fail,” and I use that term lightly, you just brush it off and start over again. But it’s working, at least it is for me. I lost 11lbs in 3 weeks and put on my thermal snow pants for work, and I could fasten and zip them without lying down on the bed and holding my breath.

As with many things in life, it’s working, and what isn’t working, I’m learning to make changes so I can shift my own narrative. I was reminded today that I have to take what’s in my head and write it down. Write out the plan and my goals for the day, week, and month. As they made the statement, they followed through with reminding me to focus on “just that,” and once I’ve met that, be done. When she said to be done, she was not speaking to quit but not to be greedy. Meet your goals, then sit down and rewrite new ones. A lot of times, we get greedy and want more and more. Enough is never enough. When this happens, we have to be aware that we will falter, make mistakes, and lose some things. This can be avoided by sticking to the plan.

If you’re like me, you can hear the same thing a hundred times, but until you HEAR it, it’s merely words spoken that go in one ear and out the other. Today, I heard it and am putting my plans on paper and into action. If it’s not broken, don’t fix it. BUT, if it is damaged, FIX IT and make it work for you. I got so many gems today that it’s not funny. I can’t give them all to you, but take the meat of what I said and disregard the bones. It works for me. Happy New Year to you all!

Until Next Time,

ShesThatRN

Misconstrued Strength

I woke up this morning not feeling my best, to be quite honest. I had a thousand things on my mind and no one to talk to about them. I reached out to a few people and even made a phone call with tears in my eyes, ready to pour my heart out. But when the person answered, it was evident that the person didn’t have any availability to handle all the things I needed to release. It’s crazy because I swallowed all that for a few seconds then fell on my knees and began to talk to God and pray about it. Honestly, there was so much that I couldn’t even form the words. I mean, I knew what I wanted to say, but I couldn’t get it all out. So, I laid there and cried it out after the few things I could formulate to God. The good thing is He already knew what I wanted but didn’t say, and he understood my tears, whimpering, and snotty, barely spoken utterances.

When I went from my knees to sitting on the floor beside my bed, I said, God is this really what strength looks like? I started thinking about what strength looked like for women and, more specifically, Black women. What had I been taught strength meant, looked like, and felt like? Examining that, I realized that I had misconstrued the meaning of strength all my life. I told God I have been taught to be fiercely independent, hold it together at all cost, and never let them see you at any level of vulnerability. That has been my definition of strength! An everyday fight with life, myself, and the people in the world. Imagine what that can do to a person’s capacity to love, be loved, experience trust, be vulnerable. All those things are thought of as being weak. I now sit and think on all the things I’ve missed out on, the people who’ve tried to get to know me, yet I’ve shut them down. All the friendships I’ve passed up on, the doors that may have been open to me, but I closed them. All the healing that could have taken place but couldn’t because I was strong. Or at least that’s what I thought I was doing.

Today as I sat and talked to God, I said, “God, I don’t want this type of strength anymore. It’s lonely and unforgiving. It’s limiting, disparaging, and I have found no comfort in being this type of strong.” I sometimes wonder what God thinks about me when I’m pouring my heart out to him. He is the ONLY person I trust with all of me. I guess that’s the way it’s meant to be. He doesn’t talk about me behind my back, he doesn’t judge me, he doesn’t look at me with reproach, he’s so forgiving, and he chastises me with so much love and understanding. But now, as for “strength,” yes, that word. I need to find a way to redefine it for me. I have grown up thinking holding in emotions, physically fighting for everyone, crying alone, being alone and closed off, and carrying the world’s weights on my shoulder is being strong. That is a death sentence, actually, or as a nursing diagnosis would put it, a “MI” (myocardial infarction) or heart attack waiting to happen.

I cannot change my past, but I can move forward differently to develop a new outlook on what I consider strength. I will be intentional in finding ways to recreate a better narrative so that true healing can take place, and I can demonstrate strength in a way that doesn’t leave me feeling desolate and in despair. I share because I’m sure I am not alone in this feeling. We mimic what we see, hear, and experience as we grow. I always say everything is learned behavior. So, for those who are like or similar to me in this definition of strength, let us relearn what it is to be strong and redefine our definitions of strength. The term shouldn’t be associated with everything wrong. It is good in it so let’s find it.

Anxiety

I can’t speak for anyone else, but I know I suffer from anxiety and, in extreme cases, panic attacks. For the record, there is no shame in acknowledging that. In fact, I’d venture to say, there is so much more right with it than what you think is wrong with it. Let me share something with you. When stressed, I would feel this strange sense of being overwhelmed, start sweating, heart racing, tightening in my chest, and sometimes shaking. I would think I was having an attack of some sort. More like I thought I had a heart attack. I’ve been this way since I was younger but never knew what it was. When I started going to therapy for other things and began expressing what I was feeling, my therapist and my doctor said it was anxiety. WOW! I had anxiety attacks. That was both a shock and relief for me because now that I knew what it was, I could help handle it when it takes place.

Initially, due to depression, I was placed on medication to try and even out my symptoms. I had to try a few different medicines to find the right one for me. It also took finding the right doctor, and I bobbed and weaved until that happened as well. Eventually, I weaned myself off the medication (that is NOT what I’m suggesting to anyone). I had my reasons, and if I feel like I’m spiraling out of control, then I seek professional help, as should you.

Now I use different techniques to calm me down when I feel it coming on. So I go through mindful meditation techniques, which include breathing exercises, sometimes counting down from whatever number comes out my mouth first, talking to myself (telling myself it’s not that bad, I’m in control, and to calm down). I literally say it loud because hearing myself speak gently to myself helps me relax. There are many ways to do this, but if you can’t get it yourself, a therapist can help you figure out what works best for you. I also journal and talk through some things SOME times. It really just depends on my frame of mind at the moment. Oh, and I cry. There’s nothing wrong with crying. It’s so liberating and allows you to let go and empty out your cup completely. That is so important. Don’t walk around holding on to a whole bunch of stuff that weighs you down mentally, physically, and emotionally. Do yourself a favor and try your best to live free of weight.

I will be the first to tell you that it’s sometimes a lot easier said than done. But I’ll also tell you that it can be done. And please make sure if you’re going to talk through it, make sure you have someone who will listen and allow you to get it all out. There’s nothing like talking to someone careless and nonchalant about what you’re feeling. Or someone who interrupts you or tries to finish every sentence you say as if they’re the ones experiencing your pain and suffering. I hate to say this person is a last resort when, in fact, he should be the first. But God is always available for whatever you need when you need it. I don’t know how many times I’ve called friends or family in what I considered a life emergency for ME, and they didn’t answer. I’d try number after number, and no one would be available. I’d literally say, “well God, I guess that means you want me to talk to you first and not anyone else.” So, I’d do just that.

What’s important to remember is there’s no shame in having anxiety. There are ways to cope and medication if you need it. You have to figure out what works for you, just like I had to do. I still have anxiety attacks, but I’ve noticed that I’m handling them much better than before. In fact, my job as a nurse triggers them for me a lot, and I have to blog like I am right now to help me release the things I’m feeling. So, see, tonight, writing this blog is helping me as much as I hope it helps you. Now lay it all down and get a great night’s rest.

Until Next Time,

ShesThatRN

What is Your Emotional Comfort?

I woke up Sunday feeling tired but restless. I climbed out of bed, eventually to start my day. I went downstairs and made something to eat and exchanged words with my oldest son about not doing some things I had asked of him. I often find myself overcome with emotions whenever I get into conflict with my sons. I felt a rush come over me of tears and feeling underappreciated and disrespected as a mom. He didn’t use profanity or anything. He expressed himself in the right way, but I have a hard time hearing anything unpleasant anyone says about me. I welled up with tears and finished mumbling to myself as I busily placed clothes into the washing machine.

Once I had gotten back to the kitchen, I wanted to eat. But not because I was so hungry. It was because eating is emotionally comforting to me. I overeat, in fact, and that’s not a good thing. Just as Lioness had his blanket, I have my food. I sat and gobbled down a plate full of eggs, sausage, and pancakes. I don’t feel better while I’m eating, instead of eating the food is a stress reliever for me. Afterward, I felt sick as a dog. Like literally, I wanted to throw it all back up. I laid down like a tick on a dog’s mane without moving.

I had mental conversations about how I should not have eaten all that food and how it didn’t actually make me feel better. It merely filled a void to be loved in a moment of feeling hurt. It’s funny to me how we use things to substitute and/or suppress what we’re really feeling. Like, wouldn’t it have been easier to say, “your words made me feel unloved and unappreciated?” Well, for me, I didn’t think that would be easier because my oldest has the syndrome of needing to have the last word, and that drives me crazy.

Anyway, if you have an emotional comfort that is not so healthy, don’t beat yourself up about it. Truth is, we all have something we use to ease the pain of whatever we’re going through or feeling at moments in our lives. Instead of using unhealthy coping methods, try something like talking it out loud, journaling, or confiding in someone you trust. I don’t know all the answers. I’m human and trying to learn emotional intelligence every day. The keyword is “trying,” which means you’re making an effort. That’s all for my personal trauma for today.

Until Next Time,

ShesThatRN

Out of Sight, Not Out of Mind

Hey guys, I thought I’d drop in for a minute to say “HEY” and let you know that because you don’t see me on here as much doesn’t mean I’m not thinking of all the content I want to write about. I’ve been so busy traveling back and forth on assignment as a Covid Strike Team Nurse that I’ve been truly exhausted. School is back in session in addition to all the other responsibilities I have, so my time seems to get shorter and shorter. Keeping up with my business is also challenging because I have lots of new things to upload that haven’t made my checklist of “thousands of things to do.”

So, what has it been like since working directly with testing the public? It has been hard on my hips, legs, and feet. I’m standing 9 hours a day, and let me tell you I appreciate the new compression socks my dad got for me. They make it a little easier. I have mixed feelings about this particular job versus any other. Some people are fantastic, and some aren’t. I find it most difficult to understand how and why the healthcare workers we test and have been testing for months now give us the most problems. We deal with verbal and physical assaults, and to me, that is unacceptable. But if you know anything about being a nurse, you know that we are looked upon and receive the brunt of people’s hostilities. No one cares that we are literally public servants, and by WE, I mean nurses. Assault and violence on nurses is a blog I’ll save for another day because I’m passionate about it.

Otherwise, I am doing well and hope that you and your families are doing well during this time. The pandemic isn’t over; the virus is still affecting people and even killing them too. Be vigilant about self-care and safety precautions for you and your loved ones. I will continue to stay prayed up and will keep my blog family in prayer. Don’t forget to check out my online store; I just made another great batch of Body Butta called “Carribean Air,” so you should go check it out. I’m about to upload it within the hour. The website is https://www.shesthatrn.org/. If you’d like to reach out for collaboration on anything, suggestions on what you’d like me to talk about, or if you have questions for me, send me a message or email me at sharon@shesthatrn.com.

Until Next Time,

ShesThatRN

In Limbo

So, I’ve been feeling like I’m in limbo. Just stagnant like still water with nowhere to go. I am, however, extremely excited to be on my new assignment. I’ve been off from work for a little while, and it definitely has been hard having no income. BUT my God will supply my need according to his riches in glory by Jesus Christ. That’s all I can say about that because even though I’ve been without money, I’m still standing and I have everything I had before I was without work. Now, that’s nothing and nobody but God.

Limbo can feel depressing sometimes, but it can also give you a lot of time to figure things out. Things like your purpose, destiny, plan, new ideas, implementing change, and so much more. My limbo has pushed me to do more with my business, writing, and just figuring out some of my life. Not always an easy feat, but it happens nevertheless. So, I started making more products for my business. I now offer a variety of hand-poured candles that come with personally written prayer intentions. I’ve also created and now offer sugar body scrubs, lip scrubs, and lip balm. I’m working on my lip gloss collection as well. So, things are looking up, and I feel good about it.

My creative self seems more heightened than it has been in the past. Honestly, I enjoy working more with my hands to create things I love and hope others will too. The next time you feel like you’re in limbo, take some time to settle into the feeling and think about how you can do things differently. Like what changes can you make, whether in life, business, school, or relationships? I feel there is always room for improvement in any area of our lives. I’m still working on me, and maybe during this pandemic, you can find ways to work on you. Be encouraged!

P.S. You can head on over to https://www.shesthatrn.org/ and shop for my newest products. Enjoy

Until Next Time,

ShesThatRN