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Authors

  1. Hawthorne, Dawn M. PhD, RN
  2. Barry, Charlotte D. PhD, RN, NCSN, FAAN

Abstract

Stressful life events often disrupt individuals' assumptive world, challenging their self-identity and altering their lives. Suffering from stressful life events may have a profound negative impact on a person's life. Nurses felt great demands on their spiritual selves even as they responded to the grave situations and caring demands needed to care for the spirits of their patients during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. However, with intentionality, suffering and stress can be ameliorated by engaging in spiritual self-care and self-renewing activities. Spirituality is recognized as an essential factor in a person's health and well-being and is integral to the process of growing through life events, such as illness, grief, and bereavement. Nurses may choose to use spiritual practices, either religious or nonreligious, to buffer the effects of stressful life events. The concept of caring for self has long being promoted, by scholars, as an essential need of nurses to care for themselves, not so they can keep on giving to others but because each nurse is worthy of being cared for by self. In the era of the pandemic in which stressful work environment, social distancing, and self-isolation make it difficult to maintain interconnectedness and build relationships, despair can occur. Spiritual practices are examples of the resources that can be used effectively in times of stress to reduce the negativity that life stressors create in individuals.