We all have those days at work. The ones that end in tears and cursing. The ones that have you texting your friends that you aren’t going to work for that organization for one more day, that admin has lost their grip of reality.
I could go on and on but we all know how awful those days feel. Even when you do all the things, the ranting to your family, the breathing, the journaling, the chocolate, the exercise, you still go to bed with eyes that are heavy and wake up feeling like you went 9 rounds with a heavyweight champion.
So how do you go back? How do you willingly show up again, literally put your scrubs on and walk in the door without feeling like you are walking to your execution?
It’s not easy. I’m not going to tell you that you can just reframe or put garlic around your neck and dance in the moonlight and suddenly things will be great. That may work for the day to day stressors (well not the garlic part, although I do love garlic), but I am talking about those REALLY bad days, the days that really have you questioning this whole job thing.
The only thing that can really help is to dig deep and remember why you are there. Why do you even want to be a nurse? What does being a nurse mean to you? And then look for how you can help one patient today.
The patients don’t know that your previous day, or week, or month was life shatteringly terrible. They need you today, now, for real. Take each moment of the day to be present to whoever you are taking care of. You are their only person today.
Then, if nothing else, acknowledge that the organization that you were swearing off yesterday allows you the structure to care for the patient that needs you today. That’s it. The structure and the paycheck. All the amazing work is all you. All your security lies in you, not in your position or your support, but in you managing yourself and using your skills. That is true in any job. Stay focused on this and the drama will fade into the background.
Don’t give your organization the power to manage your emotions. Be angry if you want to be angry. Process your anger, feel your grief, and settle into your gift of helping those who need you. Then from a place of peace and self-compassion, you can decide how you want to move forward, what changes you want to make, and how much mental energy you are even willing to allot for the organization. This skill will serve you throughout life in whatever job you hold.
You don’t have to be emotionally distraught because of where you work (I know this sounds crazy). You can work in poor work situations, with inadequate support, unrealistic expectations, and no outlet for grievances and not have it dictate how you feel. There is always an opportunity to provide good care, without proper staffing or supplies. We are people caring for people, nothing can change that except when we lose focus and give away our power by focusing on what “should be.”
Be amazing today. If you can help even one person, even a little, then you are doing a great job.
And doing a great job for the person you are actually there for makes all the difference.
Having a really tough time at work? I can help you :) Schedule a time right here to start figuring this out. Things can be better, I promise.