Reigniting the Spirit: Part 1
Saturday. 12.16.17 4:53 pm
Last week on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, I took a class called Reigniting the Spirit of Caring. I am a registered nurse, and this class is offered to anyone in the medical field that is in need of rejuvenation. It's meant to remind us why we went into the medical field, and give us the tools to continue to take care of others.
The reason I took this class was because everyday, I was leaving to work with a heavy heart. I would be in the shower saddened, anxious, and reluctant to leave. I blamed it on just wanting to stay home and be with my dogs. But in reality, I dreaded work because I was giving more to others than I was giving to myself. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE being a nurse. I love bringing a smile to people's faces who are at their darkest times. I have the ability to heal through evidence based knowledge. I have the time to hold a hand, give a hug, listen, and advocate for my patients. But at the end of the day, I felt depleted. Even on my long stretch of days off (we work three 12 hour shifts a week, so sometimes we can have up to 8 days off), I still would find myself unhappy to go to work. Once I get to work though, it was on. My smile big, my laughs with my coworkers, my excellent care (not to toot my own horn lol), my ability to do those tasks people dread (starting IVs, drawing blood, cleaning incontinence), All of it I am able to do get done. It's after work that felt wrong.
I would come home and ask myself "Did I miss something?" or "Why do I feel so sad, nothing wrong happened at work?". I couldn't sleep. Or if I could fall asleep, I would only get 4 hours in, expecting to work 12 hours straight again. Attending the class, I realized these I questions and the lack of sleep that I experienced happens to other nurses. The class was made of 25 people, each there with their own broken hearts. Some lost parents in the last year, some have been nurses for 10 to 15 years, some were just like me, wondering why they feel so horrible at home after a long shift. In 3 days, we shared our hearts with one another.
But this blog is about day one, because too much happened in 3 days.
I learned in the first day, to love myself. I tried to block my feelings of sadness and anxiety that I would experienced when I came home. I knew I felt sad, but I would bury it because I had no time to wrestle with my nervousness. I would say "suck it up, go to sleep. You have only 6 hours until you have to get up and get ready" But that would only make me feel more sad. What I have learned is that I must practice self compassion. I have to give to myself before I can give to others without feeling so crappy. I have learned I need a coping mechanism, or a couple at that.
I learned that taking deep breathes really does make me feel better. I learned to let myself feel my emotions and that it's ok to feel horrible. I learned to try to live presently in the moment. And lastly, I learned to practice gratitude.
So my coping mechanisms?
2.) deep breathes
3.) Naming 2 things I am thankful for each day.
So here I am, blogging, deep breathing, and you'll find out what I am thankful for :).
- I am thankful that I have found a profession that heals hearts, but also heals brokenness.
- I am thankful for a family that supports me, believes in me, and loves me, even when I come home and have nothing left to give.
you'll be hearing more from me nutang, just you wait :).
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