This might surprise you, but my New Year’s resolution has nothing to do with my patients. This year, I’ve decided I need to make my own health – both mental and physical – more of a priority. I’m so focused on caring for the residents of the nursing facility I work at, that I often forget to take care of myself.

But no more.

This year, I am going to make time for exercise. I will join a gym and find fun classes that make exercise less of a chore. I hear Zumba is almost like dancing, so I will try that first.

I’m going to eat better this year too. No more grabbing snacks and eating white bread with PB&J, washed down with coffee. I don’t have much time before I leave for my shifts, but an extra few minutes of prep time means I can make a salad or take leftovers from last night’s dinner.

Relaxation time is going to be a real thing this year. I will carve out some time, even if it’s just half an hour a day, to put up my feet, read a good book or watch a comedy on TV. I know this means that I have to get my kids to bed on time and occasionally ignore the piles of laundry waiting to be folded, but I resolve to do this for my sanity.

I’m going to write in a journal. Being a CNA can be challenging, and I need a safe place to write down my thoughts and emotions. I plan to buy a small notebook and keep it in my bag, so I can write while on the train to and from work, or anywhere else I happen to be. Don’t worry, I will keep it in a closed compartment so nobody else sees it.

This year, I am going to get more comfortable shoes for work and I will get rid of all the heels I keep for parties. I spend so much time on my feet that I really need to wear supportive shoes at all times. Suffering for fashion is a nice idea, but it has no place in my life.

And one last resolution – and this one is about my patients. I will take care of myself so that I can be my best self, and, in turn, give the best to my patients.

On behalf of Towne Nursing, I wish you an awesome year of self-care and compassion for yourself! Here’s to 2018!