Making Mental Health Top Priority: Natalie Zhao’s RN Certificate

By Pacific College - July 23, 2021
Natalie Zhao

How has the PCHS Holistic Nursing Program influenced your personal and professional practice?

Natalie Zhao, BSN, RN, PCHS 2021 Graduate

As a recent graduate of PCHS’s Holistic R.N. Certification program, I can attest that this learning opportunity has made mental health and wellness my number one priority. Prior to the program, I engaged in more holistic practices that improved my mental health and were crucial parts of my spiritual routine. Holistic practices like self-Reiki, journaling, and writing poetry were my main sources of relief prior to the program. Through PCHS, I learned about herbal remedies, nurse coaching, the connection between the mind-body-gut, ear seeds, and so much more. With such a wide range of healing modalities that were traced from ancestral healing or newly updated into a more Westernized approach, I had a wealth of knowledge that had not been touched upon in any previous nursing course- let alone any health course- in my growing age.

Integrating Holistic Practices in Everyday Life

When I was finding less time to manage my self-care and work-life-school balance, it was difficult for me to practice what I was actively learning. While my self-confidence and holistic practices were decreasing, I also adjusted to a new job as an Emergency Room nurse. All of this to say that it was not until after the program did I really get a chance to utilize what I learned throughout the eight-month-long certification. Within the past two months, I have allowed myself to become more spiritual using wisdom healing cards, mindset reframing/cognitive behavioral therapy through a private nurse coach, an ability to set aside time for my inner child or just have blocks of time for play, and prayer as a form of meditation and empowerment.
A breakthrough in my mental health throughout PCHS was creating and hosting my own Mindful Writing Workshop. This was created through the combination of staying creative, sharing joy through writing, and managing my (and others) mental health and wellness. Another one of my greatest breakthroughs was graduating from PCHS and realizing I would benefit from a phenomenal, holistic nurse coach to help operate as a guiding and healing force within my life. Mental health and wellness are two vital parts of my healing and growth. Without finding new healing modalities to add to my emotional toolkit, I would not be where I am today. I implore everyone to find those individual practices. By making space and saving time for such healing practices, you create time and make room for so much more in your life; it is almost like an invitation to be more gentle yet daring with yourself.
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