5 Healthy (and Safe) Ways to Rant About Your Workday

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Many of us decide to make changes in our daily habits around this time of year. Why not think about better ways to handle stress?

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It’s probably unrealistic to say “This year, I resolve not to let things get to me. I will no longer say anything negative about my work, coworkers, doctors, boss or patients.” Nurses aren’t saints. There’s always going to be a time when you need to let off some steam. A more realistic New Year’s resolution would be to find healthier and safer ways to rant when you need to get things off your chest.

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Here are five that you can try :

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Handle Friends with Care .

Sometimes, it feels good to get together with friends (outside of work) to blow off some steam. Just don’t do this with the same friend every time. Your friends aren’t your therapist. They may start avoiding you if you burden them with your work woes every time you get together. Your friends could also be dealing with hardships of their own and not have emotional energy to take on yours.

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When you call a friend to rant, be sure to ask first: “I’ve had a tough day at work. Is it okay if I talk about this or are you pretty worn out right now, too?” The same approach can work well with your spouse or partner.

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Write It Out .

Use real pen and paper—not your Facebook account—to compile a list of your daily grievances. Writing forces you to slow down and think about what’s getting your goat. It gives you some time to breathe. You may actually find that the things you think you’re upset about are masking deeper issues. Once you identify those hidden problems, you may come up with a better plan for dealing with them.

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Voice Your Concerns .

An alternative to writing your rant is to make a voice recording (your phone may have an app for this). Go to a private place and say exactly what’s on your mind. You can get angry and yell or curse if that’s what you feel like. Play this recording back for yourself when you feel calmer. If it makes you angry all over again, you need some additional stress relief. If you can laugh at how ticked off you sound, you’re probably doing okay.

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Destroy Some Stuff .

Do you have some paper that needs shredding? How about some weeds that need whacking? Perhaps you want to redo your bathroom and need to remove the tile. Any chore or activity that involves breaking, cutting or destroying objects is a great opportunity for you to let out some rage safely and productively. Say out loud or in your mind: “This is the way I feel about (insert problem at work here).” Then, take all of that angry energy and direct it toward the task at hand.

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Set a Time Limit .

Make it a priority to get all the angst out of your system so you can get back to the important business of appreciating life. Rob Brezsny, author of Pronoia Is the Antidote to Paranoia, offers this advice:

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“You’re invited to celebrate Unhappy Hour. It’s a ceremony that gives you a poetic license to rant and whine and howl and bitch about everything that hurts you and makes you feel bad. During this perverse grace period, there’s no need for you to be inhibited as you unleash your tortured squalls. You don’t have to tone down the extremity of your desolate clamors… Here’s the catch: It’s brief. It’s concise. It’s crisp. You dive into your darkness for no more than 60 minutes, then climb back out, free and clear.”

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So...what are the healthy and safe ways you deal with tough workdays? Share your tips in the comments section below

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Jen the RN

Got this one from my mom’s therapist.
Buy some cheap eggs. Use a marker and write down your problems or whatever is making you angry on the eggs. Smash the eggs against a tree or a wall or something outside where you can hose it down afterwards. A dozen eggs is cheap and the act of breaking ‘em is more therapeutic than you’d think

Sandra

I go to the dump. I throw each item individually into the dumping area. There’s something very therapeutic about breaking things and not having to clean it up after.