Here’s more sage advice for all the new grads and new nurses out there.
Our job is tough.
Our job gives new definition to the term STRESSFUL.
We accept and exercise much responsibility.
We also shoulder the burden of many things that are beyond our means.
In order to survive this job you need to learn balance. Balancing your life and your mental toughness.
If you think you can run at 150% all the time, every time you will burn-out just like the rest that have fallen.
If you think you can perform your duties at the level you want all the time, every time you will become distraught, wounded, and bitter.
Through it all you are still human, and in order to take care of others, you need to take care of yourself.
So here’s the key.
Take a break whenever you can, whenever it’s offered, whenever it’s available. (Yes, I am well aware of how rare taking a break is)
And when you take that ever-needed break. What ever you do, walk off the unit and leave work on the floor. Leave your next set of tasks on the unit. Do not take any work related ‘paperwork’ with you. Step away from the noise. Step away from the madness.
Use the break as a mental ‘reset’ of sorts. I call it taking a ‘mental holiday’. Even if it’s only for a couple minutes, 15 minutes, or 30 minutes. Use it as a time to refresh, reenergize and regroup your thoughts.
What ever you do, don’t’ take work with you on your break. Don’t gripe and moan to a fellow co-worker about your ‘day’. Doing that grinds down your resistance, beats down your spirit, and depletes you of that much needed spark. Trust me all those stresses and worries aren’t going anywhere.
Your (lunch) break is YOUR time. I personally take a book with me and read. I separate myself from the hustle and bustle. If I’m amongst co-workers I either keep the conversation fresh, or I excuse myself whenever the topic goes sour.
Take care of yourselves.
Enjoy your lunch.