An ICU Nurse Shares How She Sets Priorities And Finds Balance

When I first began working as a neurosurgical ICU trauma nurse, I was taking care of some of the sickest patients in the hospital. For the first six months, I was constantly stressed, to the point that I threw up, had nightmares, and was constantly on edge.   

When things got particularly hectic in the hospital, I found myself getting distracted by menial tasks, like picking up the bloody rags on the floor. Perhaps, this was my way of coping with the general sense of overwhelm I was experiencing on a regular basis.

However, as an ICU nurse, I realized what I really needed to be doing instead was to concentrate on the ABCs—airway, breathing, circulation. Those are the most important elements in life support, not those bloody rags.

It took me time, but I came to discover the same principle applies to life, as well. In my own life, I’d been focusing on trivial things instead of what really mattered to my overall well-being. Over time, focusing on my personal “ABCs” helped me find my life’s passion as a leader in the brain health field.

How about you? Here are three steps to help you find and focus on the most important elements of your own life. Let’s consider them, your personal ABCs.

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