Monthly Archives: August 2018

Celebrate National Happiness Happens Week

By Mindy Longhurst

balloons-birthday-bright-796606There are so many different ways to celebrate National Happiness Happens Week! Below are some ideas of how you can celebrate.

Serve someone and pass happiness on

Serving others helps both parties to feel happy. The person serving feels good that they are helping someone, while the person being served feels loved and appreciated. Some of the best feelings of happiness come from helping others and when being helped. You can brighten someone’s day and make someone feel happy by serving.

Celebrate your happiness

Recognize moments when you feel happy. As you do this, you will be able to celebrate when you feel happy.

Make your favorite meal for dinner

This brings excitement and happiness into your day.

Encourage others to be happy

You can encourage others around you to do little things each day to be happy. If you need some ideas, read our article about happiness tips https://byunursing.wordpress.com/2018/08/28/increase-happiness/.

Think positively

Thinking positively is great for the body and mind. When you have a positive thought, it just feels good. Celebrate this happy week by rewarding yourself for every positive thought you have.

Exercise

Exercising helps to increase the endorphins (happy hormone) in your body. Exercising will make you feel super good while feeling accomplished. These feelings last and help you throughout your day.

Go to bed early

Celebrate by going to bed early. Getting a good night’s rest will help you to wake up tomorrow feeling refreshed and re-energized. As you do this, your happiness will continue throughout the day.

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Increase Happiness

By Mindy Longhurst

bench-color-cute-160731This week is National Happiness Happens Week. Below are some ways to increase happiness.

Breathe

Taking a few minutes to focus on deep breathing helps the body in many different ways. Deep breaths helps the body and mind to relax. This calmness helps you to be able to be less stressed, which helps you to be happier.

Think positively

Not only is positive thinking good for your health, it is also very good for your mental health. Thinking positively can reduce the amount of stress you have and can reduce the likelihood of depression.

Keep a gratitude journal

Writing in a gratitude journal every night helps to end your day thinking positively. A gratitude journal is a good reminder of the blessings that are in your life.

Serve someone

Serving someone usually makes people happy. Getting out and serving others reminds you of the blessings that are in your life.

Smile even when you do not want to

There are health benefits from smiling. Even when you are unhappy and you force yourself to smile there are endorphins that are released that help you to feel happier. So remember to keep smiling.

Be well rested

Getting a good night’s sleep helps you to feel good and be less irritable. Getting a good night’s rest helps your body to feel overall healthier.

Exercise

Exercise is another way for endorphins to be released in your body. Exercise also helps to improve your physical appearance making you feel good.

Healthy Back to School Week

By Mindy Longhurst

back-to-school-conceptual-creativity-207658This week is Healthy Back to School Week! Since August is coming to a close, school is fast approaching. This week is all about getting prepared and ready for the new school year to start. Below are some tips to make sure your kids are ready.

Healthy lunches

Get some food ready for some healthy school lunches and meals. Kids love to eat and it helps them to be able to focus in class when they are eating a healthy balanced diet.

School physicals

Many schools will require their students to receive physical check-ups to make sure that the children are healthy and are up to date on their immunizations. Along with school physicals, make sure your athletes receive a sports physical as well.

Find a new physician if you have moved

If you moved during the summer, make sure to find a physician in your local area. It is much easier to take the time to find a doctor now before school starts.

Start going to bed earlier

About a week or two before school starts make sure that you start slowly getting your kids on a regular sleep schedule. Have them start going to bed earlier and waking up earlier so when school starts they are used to a regular routine.

Review emergency plan

Before the start of the school year, make sure to review (and if needed revise) your family’s emergency plan. That way your children will know what to do if an emergency happens while they are at school. Have a copy of the emergency plan put in each child’s backpack.

Set aside some bonding time

Between the back to school shopping and preparing for the school year, make sure to set aside some family bonding time. If you need some ideas, visit our recent article about family fun month https://byunursing.wordpress.com/2018/08/13/family-fun-month/.

Turn On Your Light

By Brandon Lewis

Brandon Lewis Grad PicBrandon Lewis speaking at August 2018 convocation.

In light of this year’s graduation theme, “Turn on Your Light,” I’d like to share with you a recent experience. A few months ago, I had a mid-school crisis. Maybe you have had a similar experience, where you question everything you are doing and wonder if you made the right career choice. In my case, I was reflecting on my recent clinical hours.  In a family practice that emphasizes functional medicine, a majority of the patients I had seen were struggling with chronic disease. As you know, there exists no magic pill that will reverse chronic disease overnight, and improvements were very slow coming for some of my patients. So, I found myself asking, “Is what I do improving the lives of others? Am I making a difference? Do patients even need me?”

As I pondered these questions over the next few days, I had a distinct prompting come to my mind.  It was simple, but the answer I was searching for. The prompting said, “They aren’t supposed to do this alone. None of us are supposed to do this alone. We were never meant to do this alone.”

That was reassuring to me. As I thought about this answer, the first line of the Portuguese hymn, Lead Kindly Light, kept coming to my mind. It translates as, “In the darkness oh shine sweet light. Come guide me!”

As this hymn and this year’s graduation theme portray, we have chosen a profession that allows us to be there for others, to turn on our light, and guide them through their darkest times. They will not have to do this alone, just as we would have never been able to get to where we are today alone.

So in that light, before continuing my thoughts, I want to take a moment to thank all of the friends, family, and faculty that have helped each one of the graduates reach this milestone. I know I would not be standing here today without the unconditional, loving, devoted support of my wife Lana and our children, without my favorite aunt named Sheryl, who let me sleep on her couch all through school, without wonderful in-laws that looked after my family while I was away at school, supportive parents, and countless others. I know every graduate here feels the same about those closest to them in their lives. And I know we are all especially grateful for the sometimes thankless sacrifices, time, and efforts that the faculty put in to educate us and get us to graduation.  We couldn’t have done it alone, so thank you.

And now we’re here. Not alone, but together, having received the help we needed to become successful healers. Now we get to turn on our light and provide a beacon of hope to others, like our Savior does for us.  In his book ​“When Breath Becomes Air”,​ Neurosurgeon Paul Kalanithi eloquently captured this principle of being there for others when he said,

“The physician’s duty (and I would add nurses and nurse practitioners) is not to stave off death or return patients to their old lives, but to take into our arms a patient and family whose lives have disintegrated and work until they can stand back up and face, and make sense of, their own existence.”

For some of us, this may be done in an emergency room trauma bay, preventing the loss of a life.  For others, it may be in hospice, providing a peaceful transition out of this life. It could be in surgery, oncology, cardiology, pediatrics, primary care, or countless other ways where our services are required.  It could be full time, part time, here in Utah, or anywhere else in the world. The important thing is that, as Oprah advised,

“You…find what sparks a light in you so that you, in your own way, can illuminate the world.”  Or as Sister Eubank admonished, to turn on your light.

I know that as nurses and nurse practitioners we will bring light to a lot of people, and together, we really can illuminate the world, especially as we remember to “let [our] light so shine before men, that they may see [our] good works, and glorify our Father, which is in heaven.”

I would like to close with a poem from Irish poet John O’Donohue entitled, “For A Nurse”

In this fragile frontier-place, your kindness

Becomes a light that consoles the brokenhearted,

Awakens within desperate storms

That oasis of serenity that calls

The spirit to rise from beneath the weight of pain,

To create a new space in the person’s mind

Where they gain distance from their suffering

And begin to see the invitation

To integrate and transform it.

May you embrace the beauty in what you do

And how you stand like a secret angel

Between the bleak despair of illness

And the unquenchable light of spirit

That can turn the darkest destiny towards dawn.

May you never doubt the gifts you bring;

Rather, learn from these frontiers

Wisdom for your own heart.

May you come to inherit

The blessings of your kindness

And never be without care and love

When winter enters your own life.

As nurses and nurse practitioners, I hope we recognize the privilege we have of turning on our lights to awaken the brokenhearted and help others rise from beneath the weight of pain and transform it…just as our Savior, The Master Healer, does for each of us. Because of Him, we never have to do this alone.

In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Brandon Lewis spoke at the August 2018 college convocation.

Let Your Light Shine

By Daniel R. Smith

Daniel SmithDaniel Smith speaking at August 2018 convocation.

In her general conference address, Sharon Eubank tells a story of how two innovative onlookers used their light to save the lives of two young boys caught in a rip current in Panama City Beach in Florida. As soon as Roberta Ursrey saw her two young sons screaming for help 100 yards from the beach, many other people jumped in the water to save the boys. However, their attempts to rescue the boys were unsuccessful and soon there were nine people struggling to keep their heads above the water until Jessica Simmons and her husband formed an 80-person human chain to save the others. It must have been amazing to see all those strangers coming together to help in that rescue. In order for this rescue to be a success, someone had to be different and raise their voice. Someone had to turn on their light. This is what we have been taught in Brigham Young University’s College of Nursing.

Through different channels we all decided to become nurses. This idea became a dream, which will soon become reality, and has in so many ways already become a calling for us. As we have learned the Healer’s Art, each of us has learned to turn on his or her light.

Each of us celebrated as we read our acceptance letters. With each semester that passed, our competitive natures changed from “How can I survive in this class?” to “How can we help each other?” to “How can I learn the Healer’s art to better care for my patients?”

We have all made sacrifices and seen success while learning the Healer’s Art. We have learned to celebrate with those that need celebrating and lift up others going through difficult circumstances. This is the heart of nursing.

One of the unique things about nursing is that it allows for us to choose from a variety of different fields in which we may turn on that light. Each of us will take different paths to find our niche. Some of us will end up in long-term care, medical/surgical units, pediatrics, labor and delivery, emergency care, intensive care, management, advanced practice, and many other areas. No matter which specialty we end up in, we will all spend the years to come developing the Healer’s Art.

Healing goes beyond fixing a medical diagnosis. BYU has taught us to help others heal spiritually, mentally, and emotionally as well as physically.

Nurses are special people. Though few in numbers, their light is a great influence that shines throughout the world. I would go as far to say that everyone in this room has been effected in some way by a nurse.

For me, it was a nurse that told me I could run that half marathon two-and-a-half weeks after being diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes.

It was nurses that got my wife and me through the difficult week that my wife was hospitalized due to complications in her pregnancy. And it was my fellow nursing students that helped support me in the months that followed.

Nurses are like light houses in the storm. They care, guide, and give hope. It is my hope that each of us lets our lights so shine as we go into the nursing profession.

Congratulations class of 2018!

Daniel Smith spoke at the August 2018 college convocation.

 

August 2018 Graduation

By Mindy Longhurst

Celebrate!Graduates celebrating their accomplishment.

Camaraderie and excitement filled the room as 51 undergraduate students and 15 graduate students graced the stage for the BYU College of Nursing August convocation ceremony this past weekend. This ceremony marked the beginning of a new journey in the student’s lives. The theme for this year’s convocation was based on Sister Sharon Eubank’s talk “Turn on Your Light.”

Daniel SmithDaniel Smith speaking during the convocation ceremony.

Two students spoke during the ceremony, reminding their fellow students how far everyone has come. Daniel Smith, an undergraduate, focused on how the College of Nursing has taught them to raise their voice and to be a light unto others.

Smith says, “Each of us celebrated as we read our acceptance letters. With each semester that passed, our competitive natures changed from ‘How can I survive in this class?’ to ‘How can we help each other?’ to ‘How can I learn the Healer’s art to better care for my patients?’”

Brandon LewisBrandon Lewis celebrating with a loved one.

Brandon Lewis, earning his master’s degree, emphasized how no one is meant to do things alone in this life. He explained that nurses need to be able to help patients heal. His speech concluded with an admonition to turn to the Savior, the Master Healer.

Lewis says, “As nurses and nurse practitioners, I hope we recognize the privilege we have of turning on our lights to awaken the brokenhearted and help others rise from beneath the weight of pain and transform it…just as our Savior, The Master Healer, does for each of us. Because of Him, we never have to do this alone.”

Alumni board chair, Curtis Newman, explained the historical significance behind nursing pins, which all of the new graduates received. Dean Patricia Ravert concluded the meeting by telling the students to keep the Lord in their lives and added a few suggestions for how to continue practicing the Healer’s art.

Family Fun Month

By Mindy Longhurst

August is the last month of summer, so it makes sense that August is also National Family Fun month! Here are some ideas for how to make the most of your time with your family before school starts again.

adorable-affection-child-1128317Watch a movie

Watching a movie can bring everyone closer and is fun! Try watching a new movie or watch a classic movie. Try to watch a movie that everyone enjoys.

Have a game night

Game nights are fun and allow for great communication between family members.

Plan a trip or vacation

Go on a quality vacation together. These memories will last a lifetime.

Have a staycation

Having a staycation is super fun! Explore places in your local area that you have never been to before.

adult-blond-board-298926Themed dinners

Have a week when different members of the family can choose a theme for dinner. You can do Italian night, Mexican night, pizza night etc. Have the kids even help plan the menu and help in the kitchen.

Attend a local show

Support the local community while having fun with your family.

Volunteer together

Volunteering helps people to feel good. When volunteering together there is a feeling of unity with one another. This will help your family to feel good and to help others along the way. Plus, volunteering is fun and is humbling.

assemble-challenge-combine-269399Puzzle

Working on a puzzle together helps the brain to function better. The best part of a puzzle, besides seeing the final product, is being able to talk freely with the people you are working with.

Put the electronics away

Especially with teenagers, make some nights cell phone free where everyone can focus on just being together.

Laugh together

Laughter is a great stress reducer! Laughing together is great for your health and helps the family to feel closer.

Read a book together

Whether it be the scriptures or a novel, reading a book together helps the family to work together to complete the book. After reading the book each night, have everyone explain how they felt and what they liked about the book.

Overall, there are plenty of ways that you can spend the last month of summer together and enjoy National Family Fun month!