If you’ve got a nurse in your life, you know how hard they work and some of the daily stress that they go through. Being a nurse was hard enough before the pandemic, but the last two years have been particularly challenging for all nurses. This National Nurses’ Week (May 6th to May 12th, 2022) would be a great time to celebrate the nurse in your life.
Burnout is a real danger in nursing, and many nurses are on the brink of feeling overwhelmed not just by work, but by their home life as well. The nurse in your life probably has plenty of travel mugs, key rings and nurse-themed knick-knacks. Some gifts can unwittingly even add to the workload — like plants to take care of or items to be exchanged or returned. We will focus on gifts that will make a real difference for the nurse you love and care about.
Fresh New Scrubs
If you are confident about sizing and what your nurse likes, go ahead and purchase some stylish new nurse scrubs. If you are concerned about not getting the selection just right, get a gift card so they can pick out some new scrubs for themselves. Trying to find the time and energy to package up items for exchange is not something you want to add to a busy nurse’s to-do list!
Donate to a Great Cause
A donation in your nurse’s name can be a very touching way to show just how much you appreciate what they do for others, and it is a way of paying that forward. There are many great organizations doing work to help people in need.
Consider a local organization that helps people struggling with homelessness, food insecurity, domestic violence or mental health and addiction issues. There are also many great organizations addressing issues like the climate crisis, access to clean water and the issues of refugees.
Acts of Service
Nurses are busy, busy people and not only care for others at work but in their regular lives as well. This likely means there are plenty of things they could use some help with. Write up a card outlining what you will do or, better yet, just go ahead and do it! Some ideas for ways to be of service to the deserving nurse in your life are:
- Fill up their car’s gas tank while you are out together.
- Make an excuse to borrow their car and then take it to get detailed.
- Babysit the kids for a whole day or take them on an outing.
- Tidy up or clean a room of their house.
- Run some errands; pick up the groceries.
- Do some yard work; mow the lawn.
- Plant some spring flowers and then water them regularly until they are established.
If you are not able to do these services yourself, you may be able to pay someone to do them! Check out what sort of services may be available in your area.
Cook for Your Nurse
Good nutrition is always a challenge for any nurse. They are busy all day, every day and when they are at work, there is not only a lack of time to eat, but there is likely junk food at every turn. People tend to celebrate nurses by supplying more unhealthy food by giving them doughnuts and pizza and candy, but there’s a better way.
By giving the nurse you love some ready-to-go healthy meals, you will be making a meaningful difference in their life. Stock up their freezer with some portioned meals they can grab on their way out the door to have at work or meals they can pop in the oven to feed the family dinner.
If cooking is not your thing, you can always give your nurse a subscription to a home delivery meal service that focuses on pre-made healthy meals.
Think of Their Feet
This may seem weird, but it’s often overlooked! Many nurses struggle with foot and lower leg pain since they are on the run all day, every day. This is where some nurse accessories like compression socks are the perfect gift. Also consider giving your nurse, no matter what their gender, a pedicure and foot massage. The gift of a massaging foot roller would also be a wonderful choice.
Encourage Healthy Living
The number one attribute of nurses is that they will almost always put others first, and we love that, but we need to encourage them to take steps to care for themselves before burnout takes over.
Sign up for a yoga or exercise class and give them a sign-up as well. Commit to going together as an act of support, with the benefit of better health for both of you. A loving but low-cost way to show your appreciation is to commit to a weekly walk or jog with your nurse as a way to share in making healthy changes. You may even discover that jogger scrubs could also be used for jogging!
A massage is a wonderful way to show your appreciation as well. Find a local massage therapist with a good reputation and purchase a massage gift certificate. A chance to relax and be cared for can make the nurse in your life feel loved. The gift of a meditation class, live or online, may be appreciated as well.
Celebrate the Nurses in Your Life All Year
Being a nurse is a commitment to giving to others every day. Make sure the nurses in your life know they are appreciated, especially during these particularly trying times. Surprise them with a loving gift at other times of the year to help them continue to help others.