Is this you? First thing in the morning your mind is racing through what you “know” is going to happen today. You start feeling stressed just thinking about the day. You picture all the things that are going to happen, all you need to do and what is going to go wrong in each scenario. You even start creating contingency plans for each possibility. Before you’ve finished with your first cup of coffee, you are so stressed you just want to go back to bed.
Or maybe you actually made it to work fairly stress-free. Now that you are there, you start to worrying about the patients that need to be discharged, the ones that are being admitted or how you are going to remember who needs what and when. And the morning swirl starts.
Many people call this, “living in the wreckage of the future.” Even though most of us wouldn’t consider ourselves to be clairvoyant, we daily try to predict what our day is going to be like. And most of the time in these clairvoyant morning rituals our predictions anticipate the worst possible outcomes.
Mark Twain said, “I’ve lived through some terrible things in my life, some of which actually happened.”
You try to prepare for every eventuality so that it won’t hit you so hard when it happens. But really what this does is take away any peacefulness you may have in the present moment.
Here are 6 ways to stop yourself from creating this stress. Before you begin your day:
- Realize that most of what you’re thinking about isn’t going to happen.
- Stop yourself as soon as you sense that you feel the stress building.
- Write a list of actual tasks.
- Add things you want to perform as part of those tasks.
- Identify anything required that’s out of the ordinary process.
- This will allow you to stop running them through your mind.
- Eye of the Storm
- See yourself as the eye of the storm.
- Set the expectation; you are calm and peaceful while the storm swirls around you.
- Picture interruptions as part of any process.
- See yourself calmly addressing each interruption with ease.
- Realize You Can Do It
- You can handle anything that comes your way.
- Remind yourself that you have succeeded in handling everything in your life up to this moment.
- Ban the Negativity
- Don’t complain or expect anything to be easy.
- Complaining, even in your head, will slow you down and steal precious energy you need.
- Choose your Words
- Your words are causing your stress.
- You tend to say:I must…, I have to…, I should… or I need to… These phrases all cause stress – Don’t Use Them!
- Choose to say: I want to…, I am going to…, I get to…These phrases help you to release stress and set you up to succeed.
By choosing the right steps YOU can decrease stress. With diligence you can even eradicate the effects of stress. It is all a choice!
How are you going to choose to start your next day?
#nursingstress #nursingburnout #compassionfatigue #nursingptsd