I have always been conscious that I have a “nurses walk.” I am sure you know what I mean. It’s the type of walk that is twice as fast as all your non nurse friends and family, It’s a walk where your head is thinking about the next thing you need to do and it’s a walk that is purposeful and direct. I’m not sure when I started walking like a nurse, I’m pretty sure it was well before I started nursing but I know that somehow my nurses walk has permeated into many aspects of who I am however recently I have begun to question this racing approach and have started to see the value of slowing down.
Now don’t get me wrong there are times when we need to rush and go at a fast pace as nurses – attending an emergency when the alarms go off is never going to end well if it is done slowly – yet there are benefits to slowing down with the people we care and going at their pace. Slowing down afford us time to notice things, time to find out what matters to people and time to really listen and I truly believe that this is time well spent.
It’s not only about the people we care for though; someone recently said to me that “slow is smooth and smooth is fast” and the more I think about it the more I realise that they had a point. Taking time to be in the moment, slowing down to think, going slower and having the opportunity to observe and being present enough to be able to listen all have a knock on effect on not just our mental health and wellbeing but that of those around us.
I have realised that slowing down doesn’t mean that you do less, that you are working less or that you are being slow, it means that you are working smarter, that you value people and that you value yourself…..don’t just take my word for it …. give it a go! It’s time to redefine walking like a nurse and to go at a pace that allows us to notice, to process, to think and to be in that moment.