It is now more important than ever to decompress and feel the support of those around you. This page is dedicated to giving nurses a break from the rigors of the job during this time of heightened stress, workload and anxiety.

Please enjoy these videos, quotes and activities. If you have suggestions for items that could be added to this page to improve user experience, please email them to [at]

Escape Contest!

Early in the pandemic, the NSNU launched this Escape page – a reminder to make mindfulness and selfcare a priority during these difficult and isolating times.

To reward your efforts, the NSNU will be holding a draw for a $500 Visa gift card. To enter, send us a photo of yourself engaged in your favourite and relaxing pastime. Baking, photography, hiking, crafting, home décor and more! Your photos will be posted here on our Escape page, our newsletter, and your name entered in the draw. Enter as often as you wish!

Send your entries to [at] including a photo and a brief description of your go-to hobby. We look forward to seeing your submissions. The winner will be selected via random draw on June 30th.

Check out all of our entries below in the Escape Contest Photo Gallery!

Watch more music videos dedicated to NSNU nurses

Tips for Dealing with COVID-19 Anxiety

Prioritize your self care routine

Avoid excessive consumption of the media

Focus on things you can control, like handwashing and social distancing

Talk to friends and family on calls and texts

Eat well, stay hydrated and get enough sleep

Practice meditation

Distract yourself with games, books and movies

Notice your feelings and written them down

Exercise to get out of your head

Keep busy doing things you enjoy, like music, crafts, or learning

Nurses Glamping Giveaway

Natura Wilderness Resort is running a contest for a two-day getaway for nurses at their glamping resort in Ellershouse, Nova Scotia.

Winners will be drawn and announced on May 12th. Learn more about this contest and how to nominate a nurse on their Facebook page.

Mayworks 2021

Mayworks Kjipuktuk/Halifax

The 12th Annual Mayworks Festival is happening May 1-30 with online and in-person events in Halifax. This year they are celebrating rural labour, taking musical journeys, telling new stories, celebrating a historic moment in our city’s labour history, and playing some games along the way.

Visit their website for a full schedule of events:

"The simple act of caring is heroic." - Edward Albert


Keep in Touch

Keep in Touch

It is important during this time that we keep in touch with our loved ones. Here are a few free video chatting services for you to use.

Zoom - Zoom How-To

Facebook Messenger - Messenger How-To

FaceTime (Apple Only) - FaceTime How-To


Stream new releases

Rather than delay new releases, production companies have teamed up with streaming services to release new movies to the public. Use your existing accounts to rent films on platforms like Apple TV, HBO Go and Disney+.

Check out this list for films you can screen from home.


Read free e-Books

E-book website Scribd offers a 30-day free trial with access to their online library. Their website includes a wide array of books, magazines and audiobooks for all audiences. Visit this website and settle in for a good read.

"Nurses - one of the few blessings of being ill." – Sara Moss-Wolfe


“Most of us have far more courage than we ever dreamed we possessed” – Dale Carnegie

“Self-compassion is simply giving the same kindness to ourselves that we would give to others.” – Christopher Germer

Stronger together

Canada’s best and brightest banded together to show support for Food Banks Canada’s $150-million coronavirus campaign in Stronger Together, Tous Ensemble, a TV special packed with Canuck celebrity appearances and musical performances.

Watch event performances online

Canada Together


#CanadaTogether is a national initiative to inspire, educate & engage Canadians
as we band together during these times. Whether it’s news, financial assistance, or tips for entertaining kids, you’ve come to the right place!

Visit #CanadaTogether

one world

On April 18, 2020, artists from around the world came together for an online concert to celebrate COVID-19 workers. The music and showcases of people working on the front lines came together to create a special event that honours the human spirit, resilience, and generosity. Please enjoy the One World: Together at Home special at the link below.  

One World: Together At Home Special to Celebrate COVID-19 Workers

Escape Contest Photo Gallery


Leona Wilneff

Leona Wilneff, RN

I have been enjoying snow mobility since I was a little girl. I’ve been a Nurse for 25 years and still love winter days in my snow mobile.

Jenna Macphail, RN

Jenna Macphail, RN

One of my favourite pastimes - spending time outside and exploring beautiful Cape Breton! This is Cape Clear.

Jenna Macphail, RN

Jenna Macphail, RN

Snuggling my niece in cozy PJs after a busy set at work is so relaxing.

Elaine Nicholson

Elaine Nicholson, NP

My favourite escape... Cape Breton Island!

Laurie Gardiner2

Laurie Gardiner, LPN

My children and I took some time to help out our local community food cupboards. With the help of family and friends we raised $300 and placed Sobeys gift cards in three different food cupboards. It really gave us all a sense of community and felt great to help others.

Crystal Francis1

Crystal Francis, LPN

The best views in Cape Breton come from the mountain tops.  Hiking is my favorite way to destress.

Carolyn Adams

Carolyn Adams, LPN

Flying through the air on beautiful ribbons keeps me happy and fit.

Lisa Dorion goat

Lisa Dorion, RN 

Another friendly face from Lisa’s farm is this goat – one of eight!

Julie Buchanan

Julie Buchanan, LPN

Self care is hanging out with my kids, building forts and such! Here I am with my youngest daughter, Camryn. This is good for the soul!

Melissa Theriault 1

Melissa Theriault, LPN

I’ve never had much of a green thumb, so now whenever I go to the grocery store I make sure I pick up fresh flowers. It’s the little things that make me happy!


Venus Sorizo, RN

One benefit of walking around the trails, besides being active, is an opportunity to see and capture cute little decorations made by the community. This photo was taken at Goat Island, Eskasoni.

Fatima Cribby

Fatima Cribby, RN,

Fatima unwinds by entertaining with family and friends.

Becky O'Connell

Becky O'Connell, LPN

My go to hobby is camping and fishing with my family. Enjoying my kids while I can.


Jessica Gillis, RN

Jessica enjoys running year-round and snowshoeing in the winter.


Kyla Neary Griffiths, RN

Kyla enjoys snowshoeing with her son, Lucas.


Dawn Lowe, NP

The outdoor hot tub and a glass of wine is a favourite and relaxing pastime. The palm trees may not be in the Caribbean, but we’re making it work!


Maggie McInnis, RN

Canoeing with my partner and our Bernese mountain dog has always been a tradition with us. During the pandemic we truly enjoyed our stay-cations by canoeing out to beaches and camping out at night.

Mary Fast

Mary Fast, RN

During this pandemic, my go-to hobby is paddle boarding on a lake or on the ocean – anywhere.

Lisa Jackson LPN

Lisa Jackson LPN

I love getting out riding on the ATVs. We are very fortunate to be able to get onto a lot of the trails right from our back yard.

Jenna Macphail, RN

Jenna Macphail, RN

I love hiking as a pastime. This is a waterfall in River Denys.

Jenna Macphail, RN

Jenna Macphail, RN

Spending the day at the beach listening to the waves is very relaxing.

Laurie Gardiner1

Laurie Gardiner, LPN

My family and I enjoy walking the trails at Two Rivers Wildlife Park to visit with the animals and get some fresh air.

Carol Kirby

Carol Kirby, RN

One of my go-to activities for self care is skiing. I go with my grandkids, friends or alone (in which case I often make new friends on the hill). In this picture I am skiing with my 10 year old grandson, Micah. 

Lisa Dorion

Lisa Dorion, RN 

Here is a photo of me with my *biggest* stress relievers on my funny farm - Shaggy Aggie and Norma Jean, two 11-month-old Highland cattle. They, and the rest of my menagerie, keep me super active, super busy and provide lots of nature and animal therapy to keep me going.

Wendy Beaton

Wendy Beaton, RN

Wendy loves exploring hiking trails in Cape Breton with her granddaughter Faye and husband Donnie.


Venus Sorizo, RN

Went for a group Snowshoeing at Ski Ben Eion as a last winter appreciation and to welcome spring.

LIsa Jackson

Lisa Jackson LPN

I enjoy relaxing in the hot tub.

Laurie Gardiner

Laurie Gardiner, LPN

My children and I entered a last-minute snowman building competition. We came up with the VON nurse snow woman. We won the prize for most Creative Snowman. Pictured is myself and 2 of my 3 children Cooper and Zoe. Our entry was a hit!

Audra McNeil

Audra McNeil, LPN

Audra enjoys a weekend getaway with her husband.

Yvette Muise

Yvette Muise, LPN

For her New Year’s resolution, Yvette wanted to hike and walk in different places. Here she is looking at seals at the Keji Adjunct.


Lenora Brace, NP

Hiking through the woods every day is my go-to mindful wellness activity. Why? I can breathe better with the trees. I absolutely must have nature around me to have peace. Do you feel the smile on my face and the strength in years of growth from this tall tree on my property?


Venus Sorizo, RN

Venus’s go-to hobby is hiking. Here she is with her partner at Humes River Falls in Cape Breton. She says, “Getting out into nature benefits me physically and is also great for my mental well-being.”


Maggie McInnis, RN

My new-found love for mountain biking began all thanks to the pandemic. This shows that not only bad things have come from the pandemic. As gyms were shutting down, I decided to try out mountain biking and fell in love with the sport instantly. I now mountain bike 3-4 times a week in the fall and summer.

Debbie Morries

Debbie Morris, RN

Debbie loves to be out in the wilderness. Here she is hiking the woods in Cape Breton.

Laurie Gardiner

Laurie Gardiner, LPN

My family loves the beach.  A nice beach walk, regardless of the weather, helps to clear our minds and makes our hearts happy.

Andrea Casey

Andrea Casey, LPN

Andrea enjoys hiking with her dog.

Jenna Macphail, RN

Jenna Macphail, RN

I can’t think of something more relaxing than a walk on the beach at sunset during the summer!


Jenna Macphail, RN

Jenna Macphail, RN

Enjoying a favourite pastime of mine, hiking, with my mom! This is Salt Mountain.

Joan Conrad

Joan Conrad, LPN

I am pictured here with my daughter Katheryne-Anne Mills, RN. We love family trips away and swimming in the Cuban waters. I love volleyball, dancing and games on the beach. As soon as its safe, we will plan a trip back.

Crystal Francis

Crystal Francis, LPN 

On my days off you can find me in the woods on a trail no matter what the season. 

Jen Kirk

Jennifer Kirk, RN

Jennifer’s go-to stress reliever is her horses, enjoying them all year-round.

Cindy Howard

Cindy Howard, RN

My hobbies include sports! Here I am pictured, coaching both my kids’ hockey. My husband, Carl, coaches with me. He is an advanced care paramedic who works in the ER at Cobequid Health Community Centre.

Lisa Dorion Kayaking

Lisa Dorion, RN

Lisa enjoys kayaking with her husband and in the Annapolis basin.

Melissa Theriault

Melissa Theriault, LPN

Spending quality time outside on a beautiful day with your children is great way to release any negative energy and stress you may be holding inside.

Shelby Davis

Shelby Davis, LPN

I love to adventure in the woods on anything that will get me through, whether it be a snowmobile, a four-wheeler or my own two feet. I spend time outside when I’m not working to fill my sense of adventure. Being in the woods gives me that feeling of being totally separate from my “real life” and makes me feel so refreshed.

This is a picture of me four wheeling on a beautiful sunny day.


Venus Sorizo, RN

The pandemic has made me rediscover, appreciate and practice making art again. This is a painting that I made on a canvas for the first time.

Erin Thibault

Erin Thibault, RN

Sitting on the rocks at Peggy’s Cove, breathing in the salty air and listening to the waves is my way of turning off the world and concentrating on me. 


Maggie McInnis, RN

Throughout the pandemic getting outside in the winter has helped incredibly. Being able to snowboard with a friend helps bring joy back into life after such a harsh year.


Maggie McInnis, RN

Kayaking with friends in the summer is a great way to get outside and spend some time on the water while getting some vitamin D from the sun.


Lisa Rockey, LPN

Lisa embraced her wild side, hopping on the 4-wheeler with her son. She says he sure enjoyed scaring the wits out of her!


Maggie McInnis, RN

While most activities were shut down at the beginning of the pandemic, hiking with friends and family was and still is a great way to get outside inexpensively.

"There is no medicine like hope, no incentive so great, and no tonic so powerful as expectation of something better tomorrow." - Orison Swett Marden

CFNU Canadian Labour Congress