The Importance of R&R + 10 Ways to Unwind

Hello, strangers! Long time no blog-but this post sort of goes hand in hand with my absence. So, allow me to explain. Wordily.

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 I’m writing this during a day home from work, my very first ever sick day. Yes, you read that correctly. In the 2.5 years that I’ve worked my nursing job, I’ve never called in, not once. This is for a couple of reasons. I’ve always gotten sick on my days off, a sort of win-lose situation because although those off days were spent in bed, it meant I didn’t have to take an occurrence or use PTO. Secondly, the thought of calling in always makes me feel extremely guilty. I just feel as though I can always power through if needed, and that saving up my PTO and not putting the hospital in a potentially tight staffing situation is best. Lastly, I love my job, and working it means I make money. Sure, a sick day is paid time off, but it’s less than I’d usually make, and with student loans and wedding expenses to pay, I just rather go into work and make my usual hourly wage.

Wednesday night however, I just hit a wall. My mind and body had had enough and I had a break down. After having been up since 5AM to work out, and running around all day doing wedding errands, and working 5 hours serving at my second job, my throat was sore, my right ankle was swollen, my body ached all over, and honestly my mind was just a fog. I got home, plopped into the couch, and cried. I had no idea why I was crying, but it felt so cathartic to just let the tears spill over my eyes, and run down my cheeks, that I didn’t fight it. (Even though it ruined my makeup) This emotional catharsis went on for a good hour or so, and as I looked at the clock, which read something past midnight, I cried more thinking about the possibility of having to get up at 5AM and brave a 12 hour nursing shift.

So, after much coaxing from friends, family, and my amazingly patient fiancé (yes, I actually texted people to ask if they thought I would be a bad person for calling in to work) and a reminder on how to even go about calling in sick, I did it. I called the sick line, and took a day off. Of course I still felt a bit guilty, but honestly, as I write this, I know that it was the best thing to do.

For the past 5-6 months I’ve been working 50-60 hour weeks, getting up no later than 7AM every day, and just when I think my schedule is full, I find a spot to add a little something else. For a while, I was weirdly proud of my packed schedule. I was convinced I was invincible and could keep up this pace for as long as I needed, but it turns out, I’m not. And although our society glorifies hard work and dedication and full schedules, there is a point that it’s not healthy.

That’s sort of where the idea for this blog post came from. I’m in no way discouraging hard work and being a go-getter, I’m simply encouraging that we take the time, every once in awhile, to relax and rejuvenate. If you’re not taking care of yourself, you’re not going to be very effective. So, although picking up extra hours and working late into the early morning may seem glamorous, or recognition worthy, it’s not worth it if you’re unable to function at your highest level and give it your all.

So, what are some ways to reclaim your sanity, and hit reset button? I’ve listed some below! Please, please, PLEASE, comment below with some ways that you like to unwind and focus on you.

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10 Ways to Unwind and Hit the Re-Set Button

  1. SLEEP. Go to bed early, sleep in late. Not all the time, but maybe for one day out of the month, really let yourself catch up and be a bum. This was HUGE for me.
  2. Wash your face, brush your teeth. This seems basic, but when you’re overworked and stressed, a lot of times you’ve started to abandon yourself. So, wake up and start your day by freshening yourself up. Heck, if you find yourself super stressed in the middle of the afternoon, do it then! Doing things that make you feel fresh, help to change your attitude and recharge.
  3. Work out. Working out is a great solution to lots of problems because it’s not only great for your body physically, it’s also great mentally. A good work out will always make you feel as though you’re ready to conquer anything, and that you’ve done something good for yourself.
  4. Read a book. Reading always helps me to de-stress because it allows me to be carried away from my reality, and into that of the book. Take it up a relaxation notch by brewing yourself a cup of coffee, or sipping a tea!
  5. Organize your space. If you want to start fresh, tidy up your space. Stress can stem from disorganization, so taking the time to tidy and clean can be super helpful from beginning to end! I don’t know about you, but I find cleaning therapeutic.
  6. Vent/Journal. Take the time to talk to someone. A friend, a family member, a councilor, a significant other…talk it out and if you have to, cry. Just let it all out! Usually when I say things out loud, I realize that they aren’t as bad or unmanageable as I thought. If talking isn’t your thing, journal about your feelings!
  7. Listen to Music. Music can totally change your mood. So, put on some tunes, and let yourself get lost in the music.
  8. Make a list. This goes hand in hand with organizing your space, because list-making helps to organize your mind. Put everything you need to do on paper, and then prioritize. Pick the top 3 things you need to do for the day, the week, and the month. Let yourself be human- you can do it all, but not all at once!
  9. Get a massage: Massages are great because they relieve tension. Being stress and over worked definitely causes tension, so start over by getting loosened up!
  10. Indulge. Watch 6 episodes of your fav Netflix show, eat a pint of ice cream, TREAT YO SELF! Of course do these things in moderation, but when you’ve been busting your booty at work, you deserve to play a little at home!

I hope this post helped some of you out there. Exhaustion and overwork is a thing, and it can be a really scary thing. Our bodies tell us when they need a break, and all too often we ignore it, so don’t feel guilty calling into work, or spending a weekend in bed. You should be your first priority, and if you ever start to lose yourself in the hustle and bustle of work, pause, breathe, and know that you are doing GREAT! Xoxo Molly 

3 COMMENTS

  1. Janice Villari | 9th Jun 17

    “Me time” is SO important! Being well rested and well nourished (including hydration) are my means of rejuvenation. I’m glad you’re feeling better-this is a time that you should be enjoying and not plagued by stress.

  2. Katie MacCutcheon | 9th Jun 17

    So much yes! Take each day as it comes. You don’t want to be so incredibly busy that you miss the small moments. The next thing you know you have been married for a year and still wearing your wedding dress around the house because you missed it!

    Bubble baths are my escape. I usually get a bath bomb, candles, and my Celine Dion playlist and I just soak. I make sure to get my hands wet so I don’t constantly reach for things. It really helps me to think clearly, and solve any problem I am having buy eliminating distractions and being present in the moment.

    <3 Hope you get to feeling better soon!

    • seemollyblog | 10th Jun 17

      Katie, I love the bubble bath idea!! And yes, you are so right-living in the moment, while sometimes very difficult, is so very important! xoxox

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