Hello, strangers! Long time no blog-but this post sort of goes hand in hand with my absence. So, allow me to explain. Wordily.
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.
10 Ways to Unwind and Hit the Re-Set Button
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