I think we can all agree that life has been strange lately. Life almost doesn’t feel real? However it is. I took a small step back from my blog even though I’ve just returned as I signed myself up to work twelve out of thirteen days, and naturally the exhaustion hit and I had zero energy. I thought I’d make this post as a snapshot for myself, and for you, if you’re interested, on what my life is currently like in the middle of a pandemic.
Working as a nurse has always been hard, so naturally during a pandemic everything is just made that bit more difficult. There’s so many branches of nursing, and we all play a vital part in the health of the nation. From community nurses – keeping people out of hospital, to intensive care nurses – helping to create a supportive environment for an individual to heal, us nurses have a key role. I’m six months in to my role as a community staff nurse, a job that previously was invisible in local communities. District nursing is often forgotten when it comes to care delivery. Since the start of the pandemic, and the rise in local communities knitting together and supporting each other, I’ve noticed for the first time I am seen by local residents on my patch. I’ve been deemed both an angel and a virus spreader, yet for us, it has been business as usual whilst trying to support local services. People that previously did not want our help, find themselves in need, and likewise, people who looked forward to our visits now do not want us in their homes. With no community testing in place at the time I am writing this, home visits now can feel like Russian Roulette. We never knew what we would be walking into before, however there is now a more pressing uncertainty that can feel like we are gambling with our lives.
Whilst it is always easier to focus on the negatives and to get political, such as the whole issue of PPE, inconsistent guidance, and no community testing, there has been many moments that have warmed my heart. I was always part of a close knit team, however that bond has only strengthened thanks to this virus. I touched on self management above, however it is amazing to see families supporting their relatives, with individuals taking more responsibility for their health where they can. Community nursing is at the heart of care for the housebound patients, from complex wound management, to palliative care for those who choose their home as the place to live out their last days, community teams help to delivery person centred care that is, more often than not, complex.
Working full time, from three very long days a week, to five days, with more socially acceptable hours was always a struggle. However when you factor in the mental and physical cost this virus is having on all key workers, sometimes it’s very difficult to show up for the areas of your life that require more than surface maintenance. It’s an interesting thought though, that as a nurse I find it so easy to show up for my patients, to go above and beyond. Yet for myself, I feel I have to expend more energy to do the same I can so naturally do for my patients.
Self care during this time, for me, has become a necessity. As I’m sure it has become for many of you out there too. Some days that involves the whole shebang, preening myself to within an inch of my version of my most presentable self. Whilst other days it involves reducing my mental stimulus and pulling out my Nintendo Switch to play Animal Crossing: New Horizons. I’m blessed to have a wonderful, supportive partner. Someone who even surprised me with hunting down a limited edition Nintendo Switch that had sold out thanks to the hype around Animal Crossing. Without both Jamie, and my switch, I’m sure my mental health would have deteriorated even further. I included pictures of my Switch in this post to refer back to, because not only is it a welcome escape from reality right now, but it’s also a reminder of the healthy love I have in my life. Both for myself and romantically. I’m a true believer that we accept the love we think we deserve, with like attracting like. However that is a post for another time.
How are you coping during this pandemic? Have you played Animal Crossing yet?0