Separating work from home life

  1. I know I am full of questions lately

    Nursing obviously affects many on a very emotional level, and can be very intense. As a student, I see nurses working so hard, emotions flying, and I wonder how they unwind when they get home. How do you keep from bringing the emotional baggage of the job home with you? After reading the affair and divorce thread, i see that being a nurse has hurt relationships for many people. How do you leave work at work, and live life at home?
    What do you do to unwind so that you dont take frustrations out on your family?

    Thanks in advance

  2. Visit BrandyBSN profile page

    About BrandyBSN

    Joined: Jun '01; Posts: 973; Likes: 38
    Community Health Nurse


  3. by   JMP

    It is a hard question to answer. I try NOT to bring home all the stresses and things I feel. My husband is very supportive, but when it comes down to some of the nitty gritty stuff, like people swallowing battery acid in attempts to kill themselves, terrible cases of spesis that have to be seen to be believed, murder attempts, ect, he has a very quesy stomach and fast gag response. So I talk to other nurses at work, nurses I know who work in other areas (who are often mortified, but interested) and use this BB as a stress reliever.

    He respects what I do, is proud of my accomplishments, but DOES NOT understand WHY I like it. BUt that is OK, I don't understand WHY he likes what HE does, would bore the life out of me.

    Mutual respect, I guess. Sometimes I am resentful of the fact he does not have to work every other weekend, works from home etc. but then I see what I do as a CHOICE and as such, take the good with the bad.

    Probally not answering your questions, another thing I do......YOGA...great stress relief......NOT SMOKING, another good way of looking after yourself........eating right.......and with shift work.......get lots of rest and drink plenty of water!

  4. by   Mary Dover
    Find a "worry tree". An actual tree, somewhere between home and work/school, on which to visualize yourself hanging worries from home - when on your way to work, then respectively hanging work worries upon during the trip home. That way, never the 2 shall meet. Can pick up the respective 'concerns' (rather than "worries") on the way back to wherever they can
    most appropriately be dealt with. Not always easy to do, takes
    practice, but with enough visual imagery, can be quite effective.
    It's really hard not to bring any of it home with you, but I have found a few things that help. First of all, when I leave work, the cd player is blaring. In my car, I'm a rock star Really, scream along to your favorite song, and tell me if you don't feel better

    My husband is somewhat helpful in that you-talk-and-I'll-listen-and-once-it's-out-you'll-feel-better kind of way. But we can't actually have a conversation about these things, he just doesn't understand it. But he tries, and it's cute

    Talking with my mom is probably the best. She's a nurse too, but different hospital, different specialty (psych). She's close enough to know, but removed enough to be objective. And with the psych background, she's the ultimate counselor!

    Other than these, I rely heavily on sex & chocolate

  6. by   Medusa
    It's hard not to bring home some things but I have made a conscious effort for years not to do it (and vice versa: bringing home problems to work!) for my own personal sanity. (It also helps knowing that the next shift is capable of handling things - that the entire well-being of a patient or unit doesn't depend on me.

    I have always had a separate work life and home life. I have good relationships with my co-workers but my friendships tend to be with those I don't work with currently. I get together with my non-work friends as often as I can and we do things and talk about things in common that aren't related to nursing (or Information Technology!)

    I also exercise (walk). It's my sanity and as necessary to my life as anything else. Nothing compares to a long walk to work things out in my mind so I can get on with what is important to my life other than what I do for a living.
  7. by   ICUBecky
    sometimes you just have to leave work saying "i did my best" or even "well...i kept them alive" and never think about it again. when i first started 2 years ago, i was really bad about this, but i am starting to get better. i have a fairly long drive home, so i only allow myself to think about the days on goings during that drive. i try to think if i charted everything, charted of meds, gave insulin etc. if i truly forgot something i just call my coworkers that took my assignment, and they take care of it. everybody at my work gets along, and realize how hard the day can we watch each other's back. at the end of my drive home, i do not allow myself to think about work again. i enjoy time with my boyfriend, go out to eat, watch tv, read a magazine get my mind off of things. honestly, though, there are a lot of times that, if i get a really critical/stressful/ going down the tubes patient, i get a lot of adrenaline and can't settle down. those are the hardest nights, because i have vivid dreams of what i did or forgot to do, the doctors yelling tons of orders to me, me running around like a chicken with it's head cut off. it's really weird. guess you really can't stop the dreams, unless you wake up. that's my 2 cents.

  8. by   Brownms46
    This is the way I relieve my stress from work....I have a SO who does just what OBNURSE hubby does....He sits and listens.... Sometimes we go out to the driving range,...and I hit balls until I can't swing anymore. But the best thing he does on Friday at the end of a looooong he just takes care of me....

    First I come over to his place...after work...I take a shower. When I get out of the shower ....he has a warm blanket to wrap me in and a spa for my feet. He also has classical music or soothing jazz playing in the background. He has a hot mochca ready for me...while he makes me a wonderfully delicious meal. My fav is baked salmon with italian herbs, and garlic sprinkled over it....corn on the cob....and new potatoes.. Foceia bread and a spinach salad with pine nuts to top it all off. He always has some kind of surprise....some little tinket or flowers waiting also. He says he can see me relax..and we then enjoy a good movie...if we can find one.

    I also think the worry tree is an excellen idea..
  9. by   BrandyBSN
    Great responses! Reading this thread is relaxing me good thing, cause I have to go to the psych ward in an hour

    Asking questions like this just adds to the multitude of little tidbits i have hidden away for life after graduation

  10. by   mario_ragucci
    Several classmates and I discussed this subject recently in our Food and Nutrition study group. A long time ago, physical stress was all our human bodies dealt with. In recent times, mental stress has emerged, and replaced physical stress. Stress can be placed on us in many means: a broken leg, a bee sting, running from a tiger, hunger. Recall "fight or flight" responce. (what is fear) This topic deals with mental stress, right? The kind we read about from personality clashes and the like. Do our bodies divide stress into parts? Do our brains differentiate the two stresses; Do they evoke seperate coping mechanisms? Surely a serious topic for discussion.

    A response to stress is swelling. I asked if people who are late for work, stuck in traffic, swell up. That opened a can of worms. Surely this would evoke stress? The book didn't talk about that.

    Personally, I don't think its possible to "leave work" like it is another dimension of space and time. Human consciousness is a continuous reality. We can't use floppy disks to remove, and re-insert, reality programs, though some may feel it's possible.

    I handle each situation that arises when it arises. Algebra (believe it or not) has found applications in how I interpret non-numeric functions. I may be nuts, but after spending alot of time figuring out numeric functions, my ability to handle "emotional functions" dramatically improved. It's a method, and for me it works.

    A persons diet plays a role in handling stress. If I don't eat right, my own ability to handle life, and the stresses in it, depreciate. Eating fresh fruit and veggies is my "secret"

    Your heart is in this too. If you elevate your bpm to (60...80) percent of its max, then stress, and the chemicals produced by stress, melt away. If you always idle your heart low, and then you encounter stress (which raises bpm) it's not good.

    So I eat fresh food, get enough sleep, exercise, quit watching television, interpret and define events as they happen....and life is a cool thing, whatever may meander in it. Sometimes I will "simulate stress" for my own amusement
  11. by   micro
    Nursing is tough........gross.........emotional.........rewar at times.................and fitting career for those of us who choose it.......99.9%

    see if I can type this address correctly.......micro sometimes verbose and sometimes just an appreciator of others very eloquent words........

    here is a story I truly like and try to remember.......I am at the point in my life that I like challenge, change.......but if ever something starts to negate anything positive.......I just try to say no and find that true peace and balance........

    so here goes.......

    if you all know micro this usually takes me a couple of attempts I am url challenged........

    brandy keep on threading'

    another way to wind down is to talk to other nurses that you know personally and right here on the we are doing now.....


    life is too serious to take so seriously
  12. by   micro

    :imbar :imbar micro
  13. by   micro

    if this doesn'y go thru i give and write it it is truly cool at least in my opinion

    :blushkiss all
  14. by   Marj Griggs
    That last one worked! Very nice, Micro