We’ve all come across stressful moments in our lives. For me, this last week has been a little rough. I’ve been working as a registered nurse, and at the same time, working on my book, podcast, and blog, fulfilling my work responsibilities, my relationship responsibilities to my family, continue a regular program of exercise, get adequate sleep, and relax.
In my previous podcast, Finding Balance between Emotional Struggles and Responsibilities among Nurses, I discussed ways nurses and other healthcare providers achieve their ideal balance between their working lives and private lives. I, myself, is no stranger to the dissatisfaction, depression, and burnout that come along with long working hours and increasing job demands. That’s certainly how I’ve been feeling. So I thought it might be helpful to review the strategies I use when I think everything seems to be going wrong and feel utterly overwhelmed.
1. Visualize success. Imagining yourself on the other side of a problem even in the abstract can activate a powerful belief in your ability to succeed. I’ve often found that daydreaming about future successes lifts my spirits by bouncing my mind out of my present difficulties into future imagined glories.
2. Focus on one problem at a time. Force yourself to focus on what’s easiest, most important, or that which you can solve now. This way you can reduce the number of challenges confronting you and feel more relieved and ready to face your other problems.
3. Wait. Whether you’re dealing with work-related issues, family problems, or stressful situations, very few problems last for a lifetime. Most of the problems we worry about today won’t actually matter five years from now. Remind yourself that whatever is going wrong now is only a small percentage of your actual life.
4. Identify what you can and can’t control. There are many things that aren’t within your control. You can’t change the past, another person’s behavior, or a loved one’s health issues. But what you can do is work around that problem. Even if you aren’t in complete control of the situation, one thing you can always control is your attitude and reaction. Focus on managing what is within your control.
5. Ask for help. Asking for help can be hard sometimes. However, it’s one of the best ways to deal with tough situations. You don’t have to do it all by yourself. Don’t be afraid to call on friends and family and ask them for help, whether you need financial assistance, emotional support, or practical help.
6. Find some distraction. When I start to feel anxious, I take a deep breath and sometimes engage in mindfulness meditation to help me re-center and find a sense of calm. I wrap my mind around things that bring joy, something that “recharges my batteries.” Mental breaks increase productivity, replenish attention, solidify memories, and encourage creativity.
7. Take care of yourself. Get plenty of rest, get some exercise, eat healthy, and spend some time doing leisure activities. When you’re taking better care of yourself you’ll be better equipped to deal with your problems. Right?
Here’s some extra help!
Maybe you’ve tried a lot of ways to reach your goal and have failed many times. But don’t you give up yet!