Let’s face it. The holiday season might be the most magical time of the year, but that doesn’t mean it’s without its challenges too.
This year, Cat Footwear is encouraging you to Do More Holiday. As a brand who empowers the doers, makers and creators of the world to do great things, we know you’re already a go-getter. So we aren’t encouraging you to do more of the things that make your life a little more crazy. Rather, we are encouraging you to do more of the things that you truly enjoy, bring you happiness and connection or whatever it is you need more of as we close out the year.
For many of us, what we need has meant time to readjust to the realities of a now much more busy and chaotic world. This has never been more true for healthcare workers as we still struggle with the weight of a global pandemic amid COVID-19. Cat Footwear is empowering workers of all kinds, and that includes healthcare workers.
We outfitted nurse Amber Anyanwu @unearthedamber in our latest work shoe, ProRush Speed this past fall, designed to keep nurses and other workers on their feet and moving. But we wanted to know when she has a chance to kick back and relax, what her tips are for unwinding. If you’re working in the healthcare field, finding ways to take some time for yourself might be your #DoMoreHoliday story this season.
We caught up with Amber to ask her how she makes herself a priority when her full time job is taking care of others, advice for new or graduating professionals in the industry and any resources she leans on. Read more, below.
Tell us about yourself!
My name is Amber Anyanwu and I am a Family Nurse Practitioner from Houston, TX. Growing up, I always knew I wanted to have a career in healthcare, but I didn’t know exactly I wanted to become. Ultimately, I wanted to become a nurse because I felt like nursing has the most options and career opportunities. I am the type of person that likes to try new things, and I feel like nursing provides many options. I have been a nurse form almost nine years. And I am so happy with the career that I chose.
I like being a nurse because I truly love helping people become healthy and the highest version of themselves. Growing up, I saw so many family members pass away from preventable diseases, so I have a passion to educate people about healthy living, especially people that look like me. My passion is educating people on healthy eating!
What advice would you give to someone just starting out in the healthcare industry or a newly graduated student entering the workforce?
I would say give yourself grace! Being a new healthcare worker can be difficult and stressful, especially during a pandemic. You will not know everything. Know when to ask questions! Eat fruits & veggies, get adequate sleep, and exercise. Make sure you unwind and destress on your off days! Also, I recommend finding a professional mentor to help you navigate throughout your journey!
How do you personally take time to recharge or create a healthy work/life balance?
I typically do not work more than I am required to work. I do many things outside of work to recharge. This includes exercising, meditation, yoga, spending time with family & friends, and doing things that bring me joy! Most importantly, I leave work at work!
What advice would you give to a nurse or other healthcare workers who are feeling overwhelmed or burnt out?
I recommend taking some mental days off. You have to care for your mental health just you care for your physical health. As I mentioned before, leave work at work! Do not pick up overtime unless you absolutely HAVE TO. Make sure you eat nutritious food, exercise, and get adequate sleep. Voice any work concerns with management and utilize mental health resources at your institution, if it is available!
What’s the best piece of advice or words of encouragement you’ve received?
Be easy on yourself and take life one day at a time! You will not always have all the answers.
What are some resources you would suggest to other healthcare workers to help prioritize their mental health and wellbeing?
I recommend healthcare workers to utilize websites and apps that focus on mental health, wellness, nutrition, and mindfulness. Also, take advantage of mental health resources that the institution offers. Seek a therapist online or in person, if needed.
Do you have any mentors or inspiring people you follow and look up to on social media (or off social media) that help to inspire and encourage you?
Any final thoughts or advice?
Working healthcare can be challenging in many ways. Prioritize yourself. It’s easy to pour into people so much until you are left on E. Be the best and healthiest version of yourself so you can provide the best care for other people. And always remember your ‘why’. Keeping your ‘why’ in your mind will help push you through those difficult times.
If you or someone you know is struggling as a healthcare worker, visit these COVID-19 Stress and Coping Resources.