You’ve seen the social media posts: A good friend announces that a spouse or child has been in an accident or is seriously ill, and the family expects to be fully focused on their loved one’s recovery in the coming weeks or months. These posts are often followed by dozens of heartfelt responses, promising prayers… [Read More]
Finding a great gift for a nurse or nursing student can be a challenge. You don’t know if they already have a stethoscope, watch, or white coat, and many hospitals forbid flowers or monetary presents. This list of five nursing-related books is here to help.
Whether the nurse in your life works in pediatrics, long-term care or something more unique like the NICU, they can always use a dose of literary inspiration to remember to enjoy their life paths. With historical fiction, medical philosophy, and cross-cultural nursing books, you’re sure to find the perfect present for the nurse in your life.
The hit series Outlander inspired a big-budget Showtime series and taught an entire generation of women to love Scottish men. It also elevated the role of nursing in popular fiction.
Main character Claire draws on her experience as a battlefield nurse to deliver babies, set broken arms, and perform surgery as she proves to the 17th century that women can be medical experts. Author Diane Gabaldon was a biology professor and researcher before she became a best-selling novelist, and she brings authenticity to Claire’s nursing decisions.
The Outlander series combines strong women, historical medicine, and sweeping romance into an irresistible package.
My Name is Mary Sutter
Every nurse knows the story of Florence Nightingale and her tireless efforts to improve battlefront medicine. My Name is Mary Sutter is a fictionalized accounting of a Civil War nurse that draws on the Nightingale spirit to imagine a determined woman struggling to be taken seriously in the male-dominated world of surgery.
The book gives a detailed accounting of medical conditions during the Civil War but stays light by following Mary’s romantic journey.
The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down
Journalist Anne Fadiman spent years working with a Hmong family and their doctors in California. In The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, she dives into the Hmong’s cultural healing practices and explores how they clash with modern medicine.
By alternating between the perspectives of American hospital workers and the history of the Hmong people, Fadiman shows how difficult it is for the two perspectives to reconcile. This book is required reading for many nursing programs and makes an excellent gift for any nurse working with diverse populations.
Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End
Nurses are the backbone of the long-term care industry in America. It’s nursing assistants, LPNs, and RNs who provide the day-to-day care in nursing homes.
In this book, Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End, Dr. Atul Gawande explores what it means to die in the United States. He explains the innovative ways that nursing homes are working to make patients’ lives better and highlights the barriers that caring nurses face when trying to improve quality of life for their charges.
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
As biomedical research advances, nurses and their patients must confront new ethical challenges. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is a nonfiction novel, in which author Rebecca Skloot traces the complicated legacy of Henrietta Lacks.
As a poor, black patient at Johns Hopkins University, Henrietta’s cells were taken without her permission and used for decades of biocellular research. Her descendants, unaware this had happened until Skloot told them, have never been compensated. Nurse readers will appreciate the humanized reminder of their role in championing patient rights.
Whether you want to honor a graduating nursing student or thank a nurse for taking care of you, a small but thoughtful gift like a book chosen just for them is a great option. You can write a note of appreciation inside the cover to personalize your present.
Your recipient will keep the book and your sentiments long after a bouquet would have wilted or a dessert would have been devoured.
There’s nothing quite like curling up with a warm blanket and a good book. If you’re looking for an easy way to unwind, reading is an excellent outlet. Research found that reading works better to calm your nerves than going for a walk, unwinding in an infrared sauna, listening to music, or setting down with a cup of tea. Of course, choosing the right book can make a world of difference when it comes to lowering your stress levels.
The Science Behind Why Reading is Relaxing
Most bookworms know that reading provides a plethora of benefits aside from telling a story. According to a 2009 study published by the University of Sussex, reading was found to reduce stress levels by as much as 68 percent. When you read, you’re essentially districting your mind from your daily worries and anxieties. When immersed in a book, your muscles tend to relax which helps to relieve physical and mental stress.
Part of the reason we love blogging so much is because it’s fulfilling for us, and part of keeping that sense of fun and enjoyment alive is having daily doses of inspiration.
One of our favorite authors and pop philosophers (and self-proclaimed entertainer) is Alan Watts. His books line our bookshelves and any time we need to reconnect, it’s great to have his words of wisdom within reach.
Here are a few of our favorite Alan Watts quotes that we’ve seen over the years. We’ll add more as we reread all the Watts books in our household!
Alan Watts on Life
“This is the real secret of life – to be completely engaged with what you are doing in the here and now. And instead of calling it work, realize it is play.”
There is one thing that every human being shares, and it is the 24-hour day. No power on earth exists that can extend or shorten this absolute time frame. It is as certain as death and taxes. However, how you choose to spend your 24 hours is completely under your control.
Most aspiring entrepreneurs, feeling the pressure to perform, decide to forgo everything else and focus all their time on growing their business. The result is fatigue, questionable judgement, and ultimately, depression.
Energy is the Most Vital Resource
Since time is practically static when it comes to the daily grind, it would be futile to attempt to manipulate it. The corporate buzzword “time management” is a misnomer, since what is being managed isn’t time but personal energy. Every day, people like to plan out their calendars in order to make appointments and set goals.
They eagerly partition chunks of time so that each endeavor they want to accomplish gets an appropriate amount. Rarely do they question whether or not they have the necessary energy in their minds and bodies to perform those tasks. What usually happens is that people overestimate the number of assignments that they can finish, and they end up skipping a large part of their expected routine because of mental and physical fatigue.
It only takes one glance at the mountain of failed New Year’s resolutions to prove this is true.
Energy is Not Unlimited
Working adults often look at rest and relaxation as a waste of time. This is especially applicable to business owners. The vast majority of their day is spent on developing their companies. Even during break periods, their minds are preoccupied with planning their next moves.
This paradigm, although common, is sorely misguided. The notion that constant work will lead to success is a pipe dream that does not take into account the expenditure of energy. Just as a cell phone only functions for a specific amount of time before shutting down, the body experiences exhaustion after a full day of nonstop activity.
Even if the activity only involves pushing pencils, it still requires a fair degree of concentration, and this can take its toll if the person is not careful.
And here’s the key: an equal amount of work and rest is ideal for success.
When an electronic device signals low power, you naturally let it rest and plug it into an outlet to recharge its batteries. Human beings are much more complex than machines, and an hour of recharging is not enough. The ideal amount of relaxation should be approximately equal to the amount of work performed.
If you spend eight hours at the office, the bare minimum for a timeout should also be eight hours. This might seem counterintuitive, particularly for those who are hungry for success and convinced that every moment spent in quiet sleep or contemplation is a squandered opportunity.
However, those who have achieved success have figured out the complete opposite: every moment spent at rest generates more energy to rely on during the next chunk of time spent working.
Rest is not a Synonym for Work
Habits are hard to break. When aspiring business owners, entrepreneurs, and anyone chasing after a dream first applies this concept of equal work and play in their lives, their unconscious patterns of thinking always seem to sabotage their progress.
When the person goes for a breather, their workaholic mind fills in the lack of activity by furiously planning and fretting about the future. Even though they are lying down on the bed or engaged in something they find enjoyable, their worries about work continue to drain their energy.
Rest is supposed to be rest. This means completely unplugging both mind and body from the tasks to be done at school or in the office by letting it relax, whether through sleep or entertainment. Pretending to put your feet up when you’re running a marathon in your thoughts and emotions is just another way of burning yourself out.
Quiescence leads to success and a healthier life.
Do not underestimate the value of letting yourself unwind. The body is not meant for long periods of furious activity, even though on the surface it might seem that way. Setting aside equal chunks of time for both rest and work allows you to stay sharp all day long. Ironically, by forgoing work and unplugging from the drudgery of necessary labor, you come back with better ideas, greater motivation, and renewed passion for the tasks at hand. This translates to larger profits in your business and the ability to make more of an impact toward the customers and clients you are trying to serve.
In the end, the old cliché is right: it truly does pay to stop and smell the roses.
Here are five books that we recommend for learning more about the importance of relaxation.
“When I first started working a lot, my wife and family eventually started seeming like strangers,” said one personal injury attorney. “After reading The Off Switch, I figured out a new way to balance and life without feeling like I was getting too little done at work or spending not enough time at home.”
“A welcome alternative approach to overtaxing our brains and then reaching for the pill bottle,” writes Kirkus Reviews, “[this book] should warrant serious attention.”
“Declutter Your Mind has a strong focus on Mindfulness, and how we can tap into our greater selves to create a life of relaxation, peace, serenity and freedom,” writes one Amazon reviewer. “In a world of increasing complexities, schedules stacked up, and distractions controlling our lives, there has never been a better time than now to start ‘decluttering’ your mind.”
According to Wikipedia, hygge means, loosely, “‘a form of everyday togetherness,’ ‘a pleasant and highly valued everyday experience of safety, equality, personal wholeness and a spontaneous social flow.'”
“During the reading I was convinced that my daily life has hygge in abundance – perhaps it’s in my blood – but if I have to mention one thing that I do every day it would be enjoying a cup of quality coffee and reading a book,” writes Lisa Hjalt on her blog. “If you feel that you need hygge in you life I highly recommend getting a copy of this book. It’s full of ideas.”
Every year, more and more people discover the beauty and joy of airbrushing. Like any craft, it takes a delicate balance of skill, patience, practice and commitment to get good at airbrushing, but it’s not too difficult to get decent at it in a short amount of time.
Depending on how much time and money you’re committing to your practice, you can check out a number of books that will help you get ahead of the curve. Combine these books with a solid beginner airbrush kit and you’ll have a recipe for success, whether you’re just looking to dabble or wanting to pursue airbrushing as a more serious hobby.
We’ve rounded up some of the best books for airbrushing beginners, including:
- The Art of Airbrushing: A Simple Guide to Mastering the Craft
- The Ultimate Airbrush Handbook
- Airbrushing: The Essential Guide
- All About Techniques in Airbrush
- Don’s Airbrush Tips