By Christine Moffa, MSN, RN, clinical editor
A small study published in the June issue of Health Education and Behavior found that mindfulness meditation in the workplace lowered stress levels and improved sleep. The findings have made the rounds on the Internet, with several blogs and Web sites reporting the results and giving their own spin on the value of the intervention. I also wrote about it for the AJN eNews, (delivered by e-mail inbox if you sign up), where each month I’m writing a column called “Taking Care of You.”
Evidently, caring for themselves is a foreign idea to some nurses. At the Nursing Times Web site two anonymous nurses posted the following comments about the notion of meditating while at work:
“Morale is at rock bottom. So please don’t make them completely hysterical with the suggestion that meditation during their lunch breaks would be useful in helping them ‘attain a heightened awareness of the factors that cause them stress’.”
“…we don’t get ANY breaks. And I think the notion of being able to sit at the desk in the nursing office is a very bad joke.”
That second commenter goes on to suggest that what’s needed isn’t meditation but rather more staff.
AJN writes a lot about the staffing issue, and it’s a real one. But the question remains: is “mindfulness” a part of your self-care arsenal? And if not, are you more pessimistic than you should be? After all, Tindle and colleagues reported findings in Circulation earlier this month showing that “cynical, hostile women” had higher rates of coronary heart disease than optimistic women did.