How to Avoid a Drought… Even in the Desert!


We are thrilled to share another blog post by our dear friend, Elizabeth “Coach” Scala. Elizabeth has been on RN.FM Radio in the past, will participate in our 50th episode celebration on February 11th, 2013, and will return to RN.FM Radio in March in anticipation of her “Rejuvenation Collaboration” online series scheduled for the spring/ (Both Kevin and Keith will be participating presenters in that collaborative event.) Now, here’s Elizabeth……

Even if you’ve never been, I am sure all of us can picture how hot and dry it is across the cactus-filled, barren sands of the desert. And since rain is a scarcity for this type of climate, we can all agree that finding a lake, stream, pond, or reservoir might create a possible problem. Well, I’d like to share with you one way to avoid a drought- even in the most bleak, uninhabited, and arid lands.

But hold on just a second… before I do- let’s back track for a moment, as I realize… this is a nursing blog!

Last week I had a bit of a breakdown- yes, even me the “health & wellness coach”, the “Reiki Master”, the “holistic entrepreneur”… I had some healing and learning to do. This let me tell you, is a beautiful thing… as I believe we all grow from our challenging and difficult experiences.

So where were we? Oh yes, my “mini meltdown”…

I got on a call with my coach last week and as we were checking in I blurted out: “I’m tired… I just feel exhausted. I had my in-laws over for the weekend and I’m so drained… I just feel really, really distracted and irritated… I just am tired!

Wow, I bet she wasn’t expecting that, huh!? So as we talked we came to a couple of revelations:

  • I had been busy doing, giving, running, and going NON-STOP!
  • My recent months included: traveling to and from India, enjoying the holidays, creating an entire product, marketing and launching that product, preparing a talk for a conference, practicing/reciting/rehearsing that talk over and over again, and presenting at the conference… oh yeah- and hosting my entire family of in-laws for Super Bowl weekend
  • Now this was a lot of doing
  • There was little-to-no “being”… and even when there was it wasn’t quality being as I was distracted, busy, and rushing it!
  • I was giving out my energy all over the place…
  • My self-care reservoir was bone dry!

Now which nurses out there can relate to that? Who has felt irritated, frustrated, exhausted, tired, and drained? Who is living in a continuous state of stress?

Because so many of us nurses are “givers” and “doers” we are constantly working on fumes. I’d wager to say that each and every one of us- at one point or another- has found themselves empty and dry… like a water hole in the desert.

So what can we do about it? How can we avoid the drought- even in some of the most desolate, desert-like conditions?

  • Awareness: The first step is to actually recognize that you are functioning (dis-functioning?) as an empty basin. If we don’t even realize how we feel; then we may not even notice our existing conditions.
  • Pause: Take some time to check in and really notice how you are feeling. Put words to what you feel. Are you angry, sad, joyful, grateful, frustrated, tired, hopeful, etc.?
  • Link thoughts to feelings: We feel a certain way because of the thoughts rolling through our minds. When I had my “hands thrown in the air” moment last week I observed my thoughts: “You’ll never be a success. No one ever buys your products. You keep doing the same thing over and over. You won’t amount to anything. Another failure…” Thinking those thoughts- of course I’m going to feel irritated, frustrated, stressed, and exhausted! So what are you thinking about? Watch your thoughts and link them to how you feel.
  • Shift the thoughts: Once you have the awareness of what is happening within your mind, you can begin to ask yourself: “Is this truth? Am I speaking in “absolutes” (never, always, etc.)? Are there other thoughts that make more sense? Can you replace your thoughts with something more useful, something that serves you, something that lifts you up?
  • Allow compassion: Quit being hard on yourself. You are AMAZING! Look at all of the “things” you’ve gotten done. Remember all of the people you’ve helped. You are a HERO! Let go of criticism, doubt, and self-loathing behaviors and thoughts. Love yourself. Forgive yourself. Enjoy yourself!

The number one way to avoid the drought is to…

Fill yourself up!!

Take time each and every day to enjoy yourself. Sit in quiet and just be with your breath. Notice each evening all of your accomplishments. Spend time daily in self-care… in self-love.

By Elizabeth Scala