Feeling frazzled? Nursing students say self-care is solution

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Nursing major Justin Ransom offers a hand massage to a student at the Self-Care Event in Student Center 101 on April 1, 2019. Ransom said hand massages alleviate stress, improve circulation and induce relaxation. (Scott Lindell / The Metropolitan)


In the final frantic weeks of spring semester, nursing majors hope fellow Metro State students don’t forget one critical thing—their health.

To promote healthy lifestyles, the Nursing Student Organization held a lunchtime Self-Care Event in Student Center 101 on April 1. An estimated 65 people attended to eat nutritious food, win free prizes and learn about holistic care. The event offered demonstrations of the merits of Reiki, meditation, yoga, aromatherapy, counseling, digestive enzymes, light therapy, acupressure, massage, and compression socks.

“I think it’s a good opportunity to start a conversation on taking care of ourselves,” said Erik Leigh, treasurer of the club.

Leigh said self-care can enhance everyone’s lives. The pleasant aroma of lemon oil can improve concentration during studying or exams. Since students can’t lug aromatherapy diffusers to class, he recommended applying a few drops to a cotton ball. 

Jason Hyatt, NSO public relations chair, offered 15-minute guided meditation sessions at the event. He said meditation can be a helpful screening and health maintenance tool for those who practice it often. “I might not know what’s wrong, but I know something’s not right.”

Meditating removes mind clutter, makes him a better listener, helps him read body language and be more empathetic. Through meditation, he processes negative emotions and appreciates the happiest moments in life.

And it has a practical application in his student life. When Hyatt’s mind wanders in class, he uses meditative breathing to bring him back to the lecture.

“It’s a tool that you have with you all the time,” he said.

Carrie Farley, a student in the Master of Science in Nursing program, demonstrated yoga at the event. She organized six-minute sessions of vinyasa-style yoga to help students practice their breathing and connect with their bodies.

Farley taught participants eight basic movements. “It gives them enough of an introduction to let them know if it is something they want to pursue further,” she said.

For nursing students, holistic approaches are not only a way of life but also part of their education.

Professor Karen Gutierrez, co-chair of the department of nursing, said that self-care instruction is included with the curriculum. She said that the Entry Level Master of Science in Nursing (ELMSN) program at Metro State is endorsed by the American Holistic Nurses Credentialing Corporation.

Gutierrez said that self-care for the body, mind and spirit—in combination with traditional medicine—is an essential part of health and wellness. She hoped that the event encouraged students to pay attention to the needs of the whole body.

The Nursing Student Organization is offering free outdoor yoga on the lawn in front of New Main Hall on Tuesday, June 25 from 12 to 12:45 p.m. For information on the NSO, see orgsync.com/48527/chapter.