When the going gets tough, the tough get together.And they share—stories, advice, fears and laughter. Now, since nursing is anything but easy, it’s easy to understand why our Facebook page is a hotbed of all of the above, creating an aspect of our community that we love, love, LOVE.
Eager to encourage the conversation, we asked your fellow nurses to share with us some of the simple strategies they have in place to prevent work stress from entering the home. The responses we received were both wise and encouraging, and we hope the following advice can help to bring you some peace.
1. “Years ago I decided to choose a spot on the road on my drive home, where I ‘leave’ all my patients and drive home. CBC radio helps, too.” —Nicole
2. “I think it’s a good idea to try to avoid telling acquaintances that you are a nurse. I can’t even count the amount of times, even just as a student, that my opinion or advice about something has been asked for in a social situation. And while I don’t mind helping, I do really need my switch-off time.” —Rachel
3. “It is difficult! I’ve made myself not call the unit while I was off to check the patients! That helped!”—Thereasa
4. “Have a really great hobby, like scuba diving or sailing; pray, pet and play with pets and think about or plan the next off day. Exercise is great, too.” —Renee
5. “I used to do evening classes. Nobody knows or cares about who said what and did that…blah blah blah! It is a good way to unwind, meet new people and learn something new. It needn’t be academic, just something you enjoy.” —Moira
6. “I have a thing…I only cry in the shower. I have three kids who greet me at the door at the end of every night. I take a deep breath, brace myself and then go inside, make breakfast, get them to school, and go home and shower and bawl my eyes out. Then I stop when the water stops. I’ve done it like this for years. Helps me not blend those emotions into my family life.” —Barb
7. “Don’t get sucked into the latest diet at work (SO stressful), but eat high-quality food that makes you happy. Also, I don’t watch movies or shows that are full of sadness and/or stress because I get enough of that at work.” —Helen
8. “I used to be a nurse at a prison, now I work at a state mental hospital. I call it my ‘heavy metal therapy’ after a really bad day, and in both those places you get those often. I get in my car, crank my metal, drive and take it out on my steering wheel. Pantera’s song ‘Respect’ is my favorite. ‘You better walk on home, boy!’ By the time I’m home—right as rain. Works, try it…if you like Pantera.”—Laura
9. “When I am at work I give 100%, but I insist on my space when I leave. If I have a family tragedy, my employer will not pick up my slack! Preach and teach.” —Karen
10. “If your job stresses you out so much that you can’t turn it off, it’s time for a new position! No job is worth hurting your sanity. Do what you love, LOVE what you do! Learned this the hard way!”—Linda
Everybody’s different—tell us about your own coping mechanisms in the comments section below!
This article was republished with permission from SCRUBS Magazine.