Have you ever had a day when you felt discouraged about your nursing job? I have. In fact, today is one of them. I have the day off from work. I should be enjoying it, but I’m not. Instead, I am brooding over the last few days of work. Nothing seemed to go right. But I’ll be feeling better in a little while, and I’ll tell you why. I know if I follow certain strategies I’ve developed over the years, I can change how I am feeling. Then I will enjoy the day. Try them. They might just help you, too. Here they are:
When we are upset, we often think we need to do something, anything to take action to solve the problem. When in fact, what will help us the most is to realize we are tired and need to rest both physically and mentally. Make sure you get a good night’s sleep. Don’t hesitate to nap during the day if you’re tired. My favorite spot to nap is curled up on the loveseat bathing in the warm afternoon sun. It is not a good day to make any decisions or take on any big projects. Wait until you are rested up.
One of my patients at work has a generalized anxiety disorder. One day when talking about her problem, I suggested that when she gets anxious, she say this word to herself, “Chill”. Now it has become a personal joke between us. Every time she sees me in the hallway, she says “Chill”. I introduced the idea for her benefit, but I have found there are times I need this reminder as much as she does. So what do you do to relax? This morning I worked up a good sweat by walking briskly for 15 minutes and trimming the bushes in front of my house. I communicated with my family on Facebook and played a few online memory games.
Treat yourself well
What do you enjoy doing for yourself? I took a relaxing cool shower. I treated myself to a smoothie for breakfast. This afternoon, while a bottle of Red Cat is chillin’ in the fridge, I’ll grab a hazelnut coffee at my favorite coffee haunt and shop for a gift for my granddaughter on the way to my hair appointment. Then I’ll plan something special for supper and dessert. My hubbie and I will watch a movie together. I might call a friend and make sure we talk about anything but work.
Working in nursing, it is not hard to get perspective. You can always find patients who are worse off than you are. You would not have to care for them if they were healthy and capable of taking care of themselves. If we, our families and friends are alive and well, we should be counting our blessings.
So next time you are discouraged about work, don’t waste your day thinking or talking about the problems at work and feeling miserable. Instead rest, relax, treat yourself well and get perspective. Choose to live well and happily despite feeling discouraged about the problems at your job. Don’t let the challenges in your nursing career take over every waking moment and make you miserable.