Hi friends! Happy Thursday.
Hope that you are all having a good + healthful week.
On Tuesday, I headed to autumn education which is a required 4 hour offering by UW Hospital for all nurses. The very first subject was stress management + work/life balance strategies. I was THRILLED that these topics were addressed + couldn’t wait to hear what the presenter had to say.
Nursing can be a pretty darn stressful career. What I found out from the audience is people are STRESSED TO THE MAX. Stress was easy to hear in their voices + stories. In fact, this subject was specifically requested by nurses across the organization.
Stress is an epidemic in America. I shared this article about how stress/busyness is a sickness on the About Ames page + still LOVE it. Stress management is something that we can all improve on. I’m going to cover a couple strategies that were suggested by the presentation + some of my go-to stress busters.
1. Develop a leaving work routine. This is one that hit home because I don’t have one. When I’m done with a busy shift, I clock out + sprint out the door…okay, not sprint but walk super fast. On my drive to go pick up Maxwell I find that I’m more easily annoyed by traffic than normal. Yes, I want to see my baby ASAP…but, it is also stemming from what just happened at work. It was suggested during the session that we start a leaving work routine. This helps TRANSITION your mind from your work life to your home life. Many of us don’t have very much time before we’re thrown into our next role (aka mom, wife, roommate), but we can utilize the time we do have to smooth the transition. Not creating good habits causes us to displace our work stress. Maybe you get easily annoyed with your husband or let something small bother you. Quick reminder for all my creative friends: even if you work from home, you have to be INTENTIONAL about leaving (stopping) work + moving onto the next part of your day. An example provided at autumn education was listening to a relaxation audio clip that helps you unwind or taking a longer route home, giving yourself time to decompress + be alone for a bit.
2. Have a go-to confidant. Also a suggestion from the session! A lot of times nurses say “my significant other just doesn’t understand.” Well, of course not. Drew is never going to be responsible for trying to make someone comfortable as they die, while also supporting a grieving family. It is important to find a coworker that can relate to your work woes. My friend Carrie is that person for me. If something stressful or traumatic happens at work, we call each other or go on a run to debrief. It is very cathartic + helps me to get my emotions out. Without a trusted confidant, people have the tendency to let things build + build. I’m giving examples from my nursing job, but this goes for any profession.
3. Deep breathe. I practice this one ALL the time. When I was very pregnant at work, people thought I was going into labor. In actuality, I was heavily pregnant + new to dayshift…so, I had to use deep breathing a lot. It is very calming to our minds + bodies. I never count my breaths, I just start taking really long + slower breaths. Practicing this often makes it second nature. Truly I credit a lot of my ability to get through labor without pain medication to deep breathing.
4. Yoga. I always tell people that yoga changed my life. It is incredibly calming to me + I’m able to recenter myself even after just a half hour on the mat.
5. Thankfulness journal. This is another suggestion that I really want to incorporate in my life. After a stressful day, write down 1 or 2 things that you are thankful for that day. It’s easy to get wrapped up in our day to day stressors, but you can turn it around be acknowledging what you are thankful for.
6. Don’t overfill your plate. One of the biggest stressors that I notice in the people around me is that they overfill their schedule. I try not to book things on my work days because I want to be able to spend time with my baby + husband, prepare for the next day, + go to sleep at a reasonable time. I’m always trying to help my friends realize that it is okay to say no + you don’t have to give an excuse. People always want to make up a reason why, I always say go with the truth. It’s must easier. For example, I’ll say to a friend: I’d really love too, but I just really miss Maxwell during my work stretches + he goes to bed super early now. Then suggest a time that works better.
7. Be smart with your finances. I heard an alarming statistic yesterday (it was during a Pandora commercial): 74% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck. That is stressful as heck! Sure for some this may be unavoidable, but for many it can be attributed to poor planning + over spending. Type finance into the BalancedAmes search box if you want to find blog posts about what you can do to improve 🙂
8. Find a hobby. Especially since having a baby, Drew + I sometimes feel like we’re go, go, go. I’m sure some of you are thinking (actually some people have asked me): how do you have time to blog? I love this blog + it has become a very uplifting part of my life. Hobbies outside of work can make people a lot happier as they have something they find fulfilling + enjoyable.
9. Exercise. The research on the positive implications that exercise has on mood including its distressing abilities is abundant. It has proven to lessen the effects of anxiety + depression as well.
10. Go to bed. Sleep makes everything in life better including stress. If you aren’t getting enough sleep you body releases stress hormones, which can cause you to store fat. I always feel like people that don’t get enough sleep start their day a step behind + spend the day trying to catch up.
I wanted to finish with upcoming blog posts that I’m really excited about:
- Updated Baby Registry: This is almost done! I’m going to have a post that is just a baby registry for people to reference. I’ll update it as Maxwell gets older + we know more what he needs! Every baby is different, but it will be a good starting point for mommas-to-be that have no idea (exactly how I was) what to register for. Drew + I are doing out best to be minimalists when it comes to baby products, meaning we don’t want an entire house full to the brim of baby stuff.
- Infertility Blogs: I have a couple very special ladies that are coming on the blog to talk about their journey to becoming mommas. As a blogger, my experience isn’t going to match everyone’s…but, it is important to me to cover important women’s issues + I want all women to feel supported + encouraged when they come to the blog.
- Support: I touched on this on Tuesday, but there are common phrases/questions that are hurtful to people. Some of us (myself included) have no idea what to say when a friend is having a hard time getting pregnant, I’m going to find out from the people who went through it what is helpful to hear + what is not. They’ll also be tips for supporting your pregnant or newly mothered friends.
Please let me know if there are any blogs that you’ve been wanting! Always feel free to comment on the blog, send me an email, or comment on one of my Instagram pictures with any questions!
Have a terrific weekend,