*************insert excuses because I work way too much**************
Even I'm getting sick of hearing about it. It's true, we know it, we live with it.
Today was what I believe culminated into one of the most stressful days I've had in a very long time. When I say it culminated I'm saying that the past 3 weeks have been interesting at best and have seem to have come with a POP of new stress for me. I will address them in the coming weeks. Sensitivity (although I'm struggling with it) and that intention makes the timing not my own but someone else.
There is no secret that flight nursing can be stressful. On my drive home from my meetings today I decided that my body has a comfort level with certain baseline of stress/adrenaline. It would have to. Most health care workers that work in a critical environment with lots of death, dismemberment and heartbreak have to have a resistance to some stress or we would all have break downs. My job takes me from "I'm so bored I'm gonna die (drama queen!)" to "eff me! eff me! eff me running with a chainsaw!"
That doesn't mean I'm saying that out loud or even faux swearing. I believe in going big or going home and unfortunately for some around me that means I talk like a sailor when I'm stressed. When I'm on a scene call or in an outside facility setting that sailor uses it's inside voice. This whole ramble about my inside and outside voices was just to accentuate what happens on some calls. Granted most of my calls are pretty straightforward and we have wonderful policies and procedures in place that my experience as an ICU nurse and flight nurse kick in and I'm good. I'm on task and using my big girl brain cells to do my job.
Then there is the once in a while flight that you get that makes you reconsider every decision you have ever made since you were born. Every patient is different and there is no way to cover every possible scenario. But when I have life's stress that have nothing to do with my job then go to work and end up sticking my fingers in someones chest or working with my medic to make decisions that can mean life or death then it adds up. It also adds some distraction, excitement and almost giddiness to actually doing it and doing it successfully.
So with all this vague crap that I can't go into, which is annoying to me too, and a few weird and stressful experiences at work and then my yearly "hey, your heart sucks" **echo then I was feeling a little DONE.
BUT YET! I am not done. Today I had to present a very difficult flight to my team. Stand up in front of everyone and tell them what I did right and wrong and lessons learned. I had the best medic ever, Matt Black - and he was a rock star and came to help out. (He was on the flight)
By the time they got to us I had napped, laughed, cried and slipped into a short coma. The presentation went well. I have a great team and I really feel that they weren't criticizing at all, but we all learn by asking questions and from other peoples experiences. The presentation felt great but for the love of God I was glad it was over!
The ride home was filled with thoughts about decreasing my stress and handling this little blip in my life. Luckily I made a very good choice. I decided that for all my hard work I will reward myself with a nap and some hydration. (water! nerd.)
Funny thing. I came home and jumped in my jammies, had a snack and made the nap a reality.
My bed in nap mode. I always nap in my favorite blanket on top of the bed.
Later, when I woke up, I washed my face, ate and went back to bed but this time for the night.
I can't be the only one that does this. If I am then I like to think I'm a trend setter.
Physical exercises helps a lot. But I would love to tag a pinata once in a while. The only downfall would be the fact that there has to be a stick/bat available to hit it. Things could go wrong.....very wrong.
On the most positive!
New glasses are on order! Any day now! The sunglasses are RayBan and they will be prescription. The other glasses are a flexible titanium (KACHING!) but will be great for wearing while I work and under helmets and head phones.
Dealing with stress is very individual. I've tried desperately to not be eating my feelings as much as I really want to. Running is amazing and being physically exhausted in a good way is relaxing. I'm so very grateful for my kids, my friends and I am so lucky to have a beautiful warm house to live in. I'm in no way on the slippery slope of a breakdown. I'm just blowing off some steam and giving myself a little leeway. A little pampering and concentrating on staying healthy.
Other tips for stress relief: I look at silly things on Tumblr and youtube.
Tumblr kills me it's so hilarious! Gifs of Cats slapping the crap out of various people, animals and things or riding on Roomba's are keeping me sane!
**long standing condition, but I took video and pics this time! I'll explain later...I know, I know. I don't mean to be a tease...or do I??
Do you have any special ways of handling stress?
Napping - in the covers or outside?
Avoiding stress eating? Is there a special technique?