Decompress?? what works?

Nurses Stress 101


Specializes in PCCN.

I will admit, i am fried. But nothing works to decompress/ make me forget the hellish shift I usually have. Today I tried loud angry music. Nope, didnt work. Tried ambient music. nope. I cant really drink, as much as I'd like to, because i have apparently gastritis from all the advil i drinking only causes more pain.even benadryl isnt working. Going on 24 hours up now. The day just keeps repeating- over and over. I jokingly said on the way out I need a lobotomy. Maybe that might help. Then I wouldn't care if I had a bleepy shift.

what would work? Some say guided imagery- I think I have add because I always end up back at repeating the bad day. I cant concentrate long enough to meditate. aghhhh what to do??

I mean , really, I want to not care anymore, so I can tolerate this gawdawful job.What to do?

Thanks for any input.

Specializes in Emergency.

I really think the best thing for decompressing is none of the above.

Try some exercise. Walking, jogging, Swimming, even a spin class. If you do it vigorously enough, you will forget about everything except the need for oxygen.

Specializes in Rehab, critical care.

Most of the time I leave work at work (because work consumes most of our free time, and I want my free time free lol). But, anyway, yes, after crazy shifts, sometimes I will think about the shift, too. How long have you been a nurse? I have been a nurse for almost 2 years (but less than 1 year in the ICU), and while I've been comfortable in the ICU even with the most acute patients now, I do think about work sometimes after crazy shifts. I never dread work like some do.

I think that as time goes on, we will stop caring about work when we get home. We care too much. This will go away after a few more years lol. It's crazy how I've become so much more distanced as time has gone on....I used to get teary eyed when a patient died, but now I don't (and it's not as if my patients die regularly lol). I empathize with patients/families always, compassionate, etc, but I don't really feel much emotion wise when a patient dies now other than, "Oh man, now it's time for post-mortem care, and this means I will get a new admission, which lessens the chance that I'll get out on time" lol, but I guess it's protective, too.

Specializes in Emergency/Cath Lab.

Exercise and guns. You can't be holding on to anything after either of those

Specializes in MS, ED.

Is it possible to mitigate the awfulness of said job? Take a PRN elsewhere or split up your time on float? Anything? I think it's most difficult to get some distance from work when that sense of dread that it will never get better / end sets in on you. I left one awful place for another but the change of scenery kept me busy for 6 months until I found some agency work to supplement time.

As for forgetting awfulness, I too exercise. I used to run but the street impact is too much lately. I swim and go to a class twice a week - spin, kickboxing, cardio pilates - to have something engaging. I come home, shower and pass out afterwards with no more thoughts of work. If you don't want to drive, buy some dvds off amazon and rock out in your living room. Good luck!

Personally, I'm a fan of a nightly cocktail. Just large enough to mellow my mood; some days a small tumbler, others a nice tall one.

I know people who exercise to decompress. I find them interesting ;)

Also, this might be more low-key, but I am a big crochet fiend and can work out some serious tension with some feel-good yarn and a hook. I also like doing this in front of a favorite lightweight's hard to stay stressed after watching Legally Blonde, y'know? :)

Exercise and guns. You can't be holding on to anything after either of those

Now, be sure to be using BOTH those techniques while also employing mine (etoh) and it's a nearly-guaranteed ER admit!!

What a way to get out of a shift....

Specializes in Emergency/Cath Lab.
Now, be sure to be using BOTH those techniques while also employing mine (etoh) and it's a nearly-guaranteed ER admit!!

What a way to get out of a shift....

No comment. People in Kansas did things a little differently when it came to guns and alcohol....

hmmm....not sure I get the reference...?

Specializes in PCCN.

Hmm guns and alcohol.all i got is a bb gun lol.and etoh as I said bends me in half with stomach pain:-(.

I guess getting a good sleep seems to help at times, but that stupid insomnia thing sets in. Doc says drink a glass of wine. Duh stupid, i just ssaid I cant do that.

Id like to exercise- but as i said , i take a lot of advil d/t no medial meniscus left, and S1 radiculapathy that hasnt been determined yet as to the source( am afraid of the myelogram) And the last thing I want to do is exercise, as the hell shift didnt allow me to sit down ONCE for 13 hours straight and no lunch, which is becoming the norm.

I guess Ill see if this difuses on it's own. Music used to work, drinking used to work,sleeping used to work. Hell, even exercising used to work , when i could do it. Thats why I wondered if anything else is left.

A change of scenery may be in order by default.There is a different hospital that is even closer to home( small60 bed community hosp) I cant keep driving home from this job debating whether to drive off into the lake or not.

Sounds like a change of job is in order no matter WHAT method of decompression you find!

What about the idea of diving into Netflix? I know, some movies make your mind wander back to work if you can't get into them, but if it's something you KNOW you like (or will like), it's a nice escape.

Specializes in CCM, PHN.

Get a punching bag for your basement or backyard, and some good boxing gloves. Put on some ridiculous music like Herb Alpert or Tom Jones, something totally awful and out of place, at top volume. Kick and punch the excrement outta that bag til you gotta call a CODE BROWN! Beat and punch and kick and sweat out your horrible shift until it has LEFT you. Imagine your boss's face on that bag, your patients face, Joint Commission's face, your ex's face, whoever will get you kicking and screaming! LET IT OUT! And, burn some calories. I HIGHLY recommend a cold glass of white wine afterward, just remember to take the gloves off first.

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