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Don’t bring work issues home with you

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As a nurse, I don’t think we will ever be able to eliminate stress. I think a certain amount of stress is expected in our line of work. I mean, let’s get real. We’re in the business of saving, and improving the quality of lives here. Stress is just part of the game.

But, just like an athlete playing a ‘game’, we need to leave it all on the field. Yeah, it’s a loose analogy, but it goes a long way. Athletes leave it all on the field and we nurses should leave it all at work.

Bringing stress-related issues home with you just compounds the original problem(s). We have a tendency to take that high-octane paced environment and just keep on driving until we drive it on home. Then you’re ‘wired for sound’ for your significant other or family member. You end up being unpleasant and short-fused with persons who really have nothing to do with your stress. Yet, these are the people that usually have to figure out how to deal with it? So then your level of stress gets even higher since you have no solution.

The real solution started back at work; Don’t bring it home in the first place.

Yep, easier said than done.

I’ve been lucky in this category. Being married to a nurse helps alleviate many of the stresses. I can usually just say one or two words, and that’s enough to get an empathetic ear. Even with that empathy, my wife and I made an agreement many years ago, before we both started working as nurses. We agreed to ‘never bring it home’. No matter what ‘it’ was, never bring it home unless you plan on solving the problem at home.

If it’s something that needs discussed to evaluate, and potentially eliminate the problem, then by all means bring it home. Unfortunately most of the things we bring home cannot be solved at home. Heck they can barely be solved at work!

Save yourself a heap of additional stress and leave it at the doors of where you work. I’m not saying leaving it at work solves the problems. I’m not saying leaving it at work will eliminate or even decrease your level of stress. What I am saying is leaving it at work will prevent you from unloading it into your house.

Work is already stressful enough, do you really need your home to follow the same path?

I see my home as my ‘vacation’ away from work. It’s where I clear my head, maybe recap my day, maybe even chat about the good, the bad, and the ugly things that happened during work. But I never make it a burden.

The hardest part isn’t figuring out if you brought ‘it’ home. Trust me, we all do. The hardest part is figuring out how to stop doing it!

One thing is for sure, you’re over-all stress level will slowly decrease when you leave ‘it’ at work.

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2 Responses to Don’t bring work issues home with you

  1. Deb, RN

    Awesome article! Very useful for me, especially. Thanks.

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