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 Self-Care & Resilience 


 "The bamboo that bends is stronger than the oak that resists." 


     Japanese proverb




   Lessons in Self-Care:  



1. It is "Ok" to take care of yourself. 

To facilitate healing within others, nurses must undertake healing within themselves. this is a life-long process that ebs and flows with the events impacting us in our journey. honor the unique development of your intellectual, psychological, social, and spiritual self and body through practice, self-reflection, and education. this develops authentic and deep introspection needed to grow from within. 



2. Nurses who regularly engage in holistic self-care activities become fluent in self-assessment and conscious empowerment. 

he self-care process helps holistic nurses effectively manage the physical and emotional stressors of the work and home environments to become more effective caregivers and healers.  








 3. Self-care is a core value of holistic nursing.  


"Holistic nurses value themselves and mobilize the necessary resources to care for themselves. they endeavor to integrate self-awareness, self-care, self-healing, and self-responsibility into their lives by incorporating a variety of practices including: mind-body practices, biologically-based  therapies, manipulative and body based methods, energy therapies, good nutrition and exercise, lifelong learning, and self-assessment."     


AHNA webinars for 

 Selfcare & Stress Management 

are designed to help you reclaim your calm.






 Stress and Self-care 

with Debra Rose Wilson


Uncertainty provokes activation of the physiological stress response. It is normal for this to spur emotions including: anxiety, anger, sadness, helplessness, discouragement, or at times, lack of control. Physical effects of headache, muscle tension, fatigue and sleeplessness, in combination with emotional lability, can be indicators we are carrying too much of a burden. It's time to focus on self-care.  








a sturdy refusal to acknowledge defeat... which aids as effectively in affairs of the heart as in encounters of a sterner and more practical kind."


- P. G. Wodehouse




   "PMR for Resilience" 


PMR is adapted from 1905 research focusing on developing the ability to control the tension levels of the musculature, Edmond Jacobson sought to subconsciously monitor and release unwanted tension. PMR techniques blunt sympathetic arousal via repetitive release of muscle tension combined with slowing of respirations.


The PMR tension–release cycle technique effectively stabilizes the natural neurochemical stress response, Chellew et al. (2015)  mitigating symptoms of anxiety, insomnia, depression, headaches, pain, and muscle fatigue.
Data suggest PMR has an immunoenhancement effect Pawlow, L., & Jones G. (2005) inducing enkaphalins, sIgA concentration and secretion, and antibacterial peptides within the gut microbiome. 
The resulting sense of improved well-being termed, ‘remembered wellness’ (Benson, 1996) exhibits effects similar to feelings of maternal attachment. Insight and behavior modification or physical interventions such as PMR, re-engage emotional control mechanisms.




International reviews of literature have proven that acupressure, including self-administered acupressure, as a complementary medical intervention, improves emotional vitality. With regular practice, the cumulative benefits of JSJ support sustained mental wellbeing. Nurses in an RCT crossover design study, were surveyed to evaluate the effects of JSJ on stress and caring efficacy. Participants demonstrated significant changes in measures of emotional vitality and buoyancy after JSJ education, Millspaugh, J., Errico, C., Mortimer, S., Kowalski, M. O., Chui, S., & Reifsnyder, C. (2020). Jin Shin Jyutsu® Self-Help Reduces Nurse Stress: A Randomized Controlled Study . Journal of Holistic Nursing.


JSJ acupressure techniquest can be a complementary therapy for managing symptoms of:

  • ·         anxiety and depression

  • ·         self-regulation and awareness

  • ·         sleep and digestion

  • ·         tension and pain

Research confirms practice of JSJ Self-Help is an effective non-pharmalogical stress management technique. Menard, M. (2018). Research: Is Acupressure an Effective Form of Self-Care?


**AHNA graciously thanks Julia Millspaugh, RN, HNB-BC for her JSJ expertise in this publication.


Jin Shin Jyutsu for Resilience


PDF tapping for Resilience637439217767454651


 Tapping for Resilience 


Tapping, or The Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) is an evidence based practice combining the manual stimulation of acupressure points with present-day cognitive and exposure therapies. Nelms, J. A., & Castel, L. (2016). A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized and Nonrandomized Trials of Clinical Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) for the Treatment of Depression. Explore (New York, N.Y.), 12(6), 416–426.


The process of tapping specific points is an effective holistic tool to regain control of anxiety, depression, mood disorders, self-limiting beliefs, addictions, and chronic pain.

Rancour, Patrice; The Emotional Freedom Technique: Finally, a Unifying Theory for the Practice of Holistic Nursing, or Too Good to Be True? Journal of Holistic Nursing Dec 2017: 35 (4): 382-388. 



Movement Based Mindfulness

A literature review evaluating over 30 clinical studies of Movement Based Mind-Body Interventions (MMBI) determined that movement practices of Qi Gong, Tai Chi, and Yoga, effectively managed low back pain, enhanced functional ability, lowered depression and anxiety, and advanced resilience. 

Juyoung Park, Krause-Parello, C. A., & Barnes, C. M. (2020). A Narrative Review of Movement-Based Mind-Body Interventions: Effects of Yoga, Tai Chi, and Qigong for Back Pain Patients. Holistic Nursing Practice34(1), 3–23.


Ideally, mindful movement is best practiced regularly and consistently.


Select a program and set an intention for yourself.


This does not mean your goal is "pushing harder"
or being exceptional during a stressful time it might simply be,

 "I am going to practice from a space of inner peace."



QiGong photo637460675040276987

Qi-Gong is a proven movement technique for boosting immunity, controlling anxiety, and reducing inflammation.


 The resources here range from a ten minute "wake up the mind and body" to longer courses which can be selected based upon targeted muscle groups:

  • Jivamuktiyoga "Magic Ten" is a series of ten simple exercises completed over ten minutes: good for awakening the body and mind.

  • "Do Yoga With Me" is a reputable website offering free classes sorted by comfort level, experience, and target area. The, Quick & Juicy Hip Opening routine is ideal for nurses experiencing tightness or pain from long periods of standing.

  • Qigong for Beginners  is an online introductory forum with easy to follow videos of Qigong movements and exercises, accompanied by straightforward instructions.

Persistent high levels of occupation stress are proven to contribute to high blood pressure, headaches, anxiety and depression, and chronic illness’. these physical effects, coupled with moral injury, result in increased absences and lower staff retention rates. 
A combination of aerobic, anaerobic activities and stretching is ideal to combat effects of chronically elevated cortisol and stress related neurotransmitters.   Research confirms consistent practice of mindful based movement exercise is an effective non-pharmalogical antidote to chronic stress related disorders and burnout. 






Incorporating Mindful Based Movement into your regular schedule is a wise step toward:

• reducing anxiety and depression 

• heightened self-regulation and emotional intelligence 

• enhanced cognition, balance, and coordination 

• respiratory endurance 

• auditory / visual reaction improvement 

• increased positive emotions like empathy and compassion 



American Holistic Nurses Association (AHNA), & American Nurses Association (ANA). (2013). Holistic nursing: Scope and standards of practice (2nd ed.) Silver Spring, MD:

American Holistic Nurses Association (AHNA). (2016). Self-care: finding time and balance. Beginnings; (36)4.

American Holistic Nurses Association (AHNA). (2015). Holistic nourishment for healing & resilience. Beginnings, (35)6, 21.

Bennett, M. (2015). It's about resilience. American Holistic Nurses Association (AHNA). Beginnings, (35)6, 6-9, 26-27.

Rovinsky, P. (2015). Stress and resiliency: Challenges of 21st century living. American Holistic Nurses Association (AHNA). Beginnings, (35)6, 18-20.

Rosa, W. (2014). Caring science and compassion fatigue: Reflective inventory for the individual processes of self- healing. American Holistic Nurses Association (AHNA). Beginnings; 34(4), 18-20.

Schroeder, T. (2017). Meditation for emotional well-being. American Holistic Nurses Association (AHNA). Beginnings; 37(3), 10-11.

World Health Organization, 2016.