Whether it is a health problem, family conflict, depression or a host of other issues, personal problems can be a major distraction at work. You might be present physically, but mentally your mind is completely preoccupied with household affairs. None of us are machines– any nurse will run into this problem eventually, over the course of their career. Though understandable, healthcare professionals have a duty to their patients, co-workers and facility. You eventually have to pick yourself up and carry out the tasks entrusted to you, to ensure smooth operations and the highest quality care available. That is why in this article, we will cover healthy ways to cope with personal problems, so that you can continue working
Adopt healthy habits
Sometimes, all you need is a healthy outlet. You can adopt positive daily routines that let you release tension and stress in a productive manner. For example, taking deep breaths throughout the day, whenever anxiety or tension flares up. When you breathe slower, you signal your nervous system to calm down. It will take some practice, but it is a great way to center yourself and refocus on work. Low intensity daily exercises are another excellent outlet. Increased physical activity releases feel-good endorphins, on top of improving your health overall. Since you already work so hard in the clinic, adopting more low intensity workouts is recommended. Long walks in the park, yoga, swimming or cycling are just a few examples. It helps to find an activity that you genuinely enjoy, as it can become something to look forward to after work.
Take advantage of your benefits
If you are employed by a facility, taking advantage of the benefits available to you can help a great deal. For example, a lot of hospitals offer daycare services, in case you are worried about your young children while you work. If student debt has you down, there are often tuition reimbursement programs where hospitals will sponsor your education while you work. If you just need someone to talk to regarding sensitive personal issues, human resources or employment assistance programs can help a great deal. Be sure to review your benefits packages and consider just how much they can help you with your current issues.
Reach out to others
Sometimes, you just need to have a conversation with people who care. Consulting close family and friends in your support system is a powerful way to work through any problems you are undergoing. They can offer their advice or just invaluable reassurance and comfort. Sometimes, a different perspective is what you need in order to gain clarity on your situation. Professional consultation from a therapist may also be just what you need. You can book for their services yourself, or contact your health insurance to see if it covers therapy. Even if you have your own personal reservations, it is worth giving a try at least. Do not forget to set professional boundaries
Discussing your personal issues with close friends can be a beautiful and helpful experience, but bringing that baggage to work is a different issue. Taking every opportunity to talk about your problems to your co-workers, supervisors or even patients can end up becoming a major distraction for everyone involved. While you are on the clock, you want to focus on saving lives and providing crucial healthcare. You can discuss these problems with HR or outside of work, on your own time.
Take some time off
There may reach a point where the burden is just too much. The severity of your problem is such that it has completely occupied all your thoughts. You try to work through it, but for one reason or the other you just cannot. It is practically impossible to provide top of the line healthcare in this state. If it comes to this, it may be time to slow down and take time off of work. Give yourself the time and space to grieve, reflect, rest and recover. If you are fully-employed, you can take a couple of days off from your PTO. If you are out of PTO but you just cannot continue, you can raise the issue with HR or your boss. For per-diem nurses, it is as simple as not taking shifts for a week or so. These problems do not fade away easily, but some time to yourself can do wonders both in the short term and bigger picture.