After being on holidays for four weeks, my first holiday in two years I thought coming back to work would be horrible. In fact I found it quite the opposite, minus the usually annoyances that go along with nursing that is (paperwork, personality conflicts etc). Of course I have all the luck in the world, I came back onto night duty, five consecutive ones too… But, they haven’t been as bad as I was expecting.
It’s come to my attention the great benefits of taking a break from everything, especially after being stuck amongst so much stress. Before I went on holidays I was trying to finish my uni semester three weeks early, I was working 90-100 hours a fortnight, planning a wedding, trying to maintain regular exercise and sustain some kind of normalcy at home. I usually set myself up to run on all engines most of the time, this leaves me rushing around ALL the time, and I find it leaves me exhausted. I set myself such high expectations that I end up using all my time to achieve them. Since having time off and having the opportunity to sit around and do nothing, to be present, mindful and just be. While we were away I had 2 full body massages, spent a few days in my own headspace and even managed to get to the point that my mind was quiet enough to read for enjoyment, something I struggle with when I’m working since I often work on all engines there. Currently even though I’ve been back at work, and granted they aren’t the stressful fast paced shifts, they will come next week when I’m back on afternoon shifts, but it has made such a difference to me.
I’m starting to realise the effects being so busy truly can have on a person. We all need some down time and some balance in our lives. I guess that’s why we are only meant to work for 8hrs a day, so at the end of the day we can come home cook dinner and wind down for the evening. Before I went back to work I cleaned up the house, got some sort of routine in order and we’ve managed to keep it so far, granted it’s only been half a week. My husband has noticed a great difference in me, I notice I have been more patient and calmer, and I am making an effort to try and remain that way.
I understand it’s not always so easy to take a holiday, but if you can even take the time off to relax even if you don’t go anywhere, take the time to get centred in your routine again, catch up with friends and family, have BBQ’s with friends and go for a walk for coffee or check out some opshops or something. This is the sort of things we did for the week after we returned from our honeymoon before we went back to work. We spent the week together, cleaned up the house together and then enjoyed the time in our clean and tidy house before entering back into the rat race. Once I finished this I got back into some home yoga, since I wanted to be in the house rather than drive to a class.
My next goal is to integrate the new balance I’ve found with full time work! Maintaining
my exercise regime, getting some time a few times a week to by quiet and present. Getting time to read a book, or just enjoy getting out into the sunshine, I wondered if that was one of the things that helped me the most, ordinarily I don’t see that much outdoors. I go to work, try to keep the house organised, and all my exercise classes are indoors. I’d like to spend some more time outside, soaking up some vitamin D…
If you think you don’t have time for any of this, take 5mins in the morning or after work. Sit outside with a cup of tea, coffee, hot chocolate or even wine if that’s what your routine involves, take 5 deep breaths and just notice how the atmosphere feels. Is it warm, is there a breeze, is it humid? How are you feeling, what is your breathing doing? What sensations are you feeling, what is your mood doing? Take as much time here as you need, and there you have it, you’ve take some time out to be present, I’m trying to do this at the very least. I love the atmosphere of a summer evening, the smells and the feelings as the evening cools for the night. Money doesn’t have to hold you back from having a break, there’s so much you can do for yourself, you just have to learn what helps you, and practice it. My biggest struggle was figuring out how to entertain myself, and how to be in my own presence without someone else to interact with, or without something I needed to do.
I was getting to the point I thought I was managing, I was feeling utterly tired but had gotten to the point that was beginning to be a norm for me though. Since coming back to work I’ve realised it’s not the case at all, I’ve really appreciated this break and I feel so refreshed and motivated because of it.