When You Want to Call Off Sick-Of Your Job

  1. There might be days when the alarm goes off and you just feel sick—of your job. Is it time to move on? Or do you only need a mental health day? Consider trying a few ways to get through a work slump to give yourself the time to determine if it’s just a bad day, or a bad job.

    When You Want to Call Off Sick-Of Your Job

    Oh no, not the alarm. Most people don't spring out of bed eager for another day at work, but some days stimulating any enthusiasm can be harder than others. Physically you might feel fine, but mentally you're exhausted at the mere thought of work. A large portion of our lives is spent working and that time can affect our overall happiness and general outlook. These feelings of discontent might happen occasionally, but if they start happening often, perhaps it's time to evaluate if it's just a bad day, or if it's a bad job.

    Identify the Triggers

    Your nursing job might've started off ideal, but over time things can change with you, and with your position. Has your job changed into something that no longer meets your needs or one that leaves you feeling unfulfilled? Perhaps you're unsure if you just need a day to unwind and relax, or if it's time to look for a new job?

    Plan a mental health day, or a long weekend- Take a break and remove yourself, and your thoughts, from work. Do something completely unrelated to your job and assess if your feelings have changed once it's time to return to work.

    Often, we invest too much of our happiness in our job. Try to find happiness outside of work as a distraction from stress, or to derive personal satisfaction. Focus more on your hobbies, volunteer, or invest time in additional ways to nurture your soul.

    Wait and evaluate- If you're uncertain what's causing your dissatisfaction, take time to evaluate what made you lose that lovin' feeling. This can help you discover where to direct your focus.

    Talk it out with someone or journal your thoughts to determine:

    • Are you just bored? Volunteer for a committee, ask to change your unit, shift, or see if there is a new skill you can learn to inject excitement back into your usual day.
    • Is it your work environment, your boss, or your coworkers filling you with dread? Negativity can squash your best intentions. Although it's often easier said than done, if possible, try to avoid negative people. If you can't, try to focus on your work.
    • Are your feelings related to a specific event such as an upcoming survey or a new project? Consider if your unhappiness might be short lived and will pass with the event. Remember that you determine how you allow events to affect you emotionally. Worry never changes an outcome.
    • Are you working too many extra hours? If possible, cut back on overtime.
    • Has something changed personally with your health, or your family, that has altered your feelings for your chosen specialty?

    Take Action

    Once you've determined if your dissatisfaction resides with you, or with your job, it's time to either make more out of the time spent at your job, or consider looking for a new one.

    It's not you job, it's me- If it's just a bad day, week, or month, you might realize that "mentally you've quit", but you continue to show up because you're hoping to reignite that fire. Consider ways to shake things up to help you enjoy your job again.

    • Recognize negative self-talk and replace with positive affirmations
    • Consider your wins and accomplishments and how far you've come in your career. Write them down as a visual reminder.
    • Change your routine to reduce boredom. Drive a different route to work, buy new scrubs or change your usual lunch plans. Sometimes small things can make a big difference in changing your outlook.
    • Plan extra time before your shift so you aren't starting your day feeling rushed. Make time to enjoy your coffee, or for a short stretching or yoga routine to begin your day more peacefully.

    It is you, job-If you're filled with sadness and anxiety at thoughts of the upcoming workweek, and your Sunday night blues start leaking into the rest of the week, perhaps your job is responsible for your unhappiness.

    • Talk to your supervisor about other positions available to work on your unit, in the facility, or in a new role.
    • Educate yourself with online courses, or consider returning to school to expand your options and stimulate your mind.
    • Decrease your hours to part-time or casual
    • If it's a toxic environment that shows no signs of improvement, consider dusting off your resume to begin looking for another job.

    Make Your Happiness a Priority

    Work fills a large portion of our time and our lives. If your job doesn't bring you happiness, start looking for ways to make a change. If it's just a temporary feeling, or you've been overworked or overwhelmed, take that mental health day and invest a little time in reviving your enthusiasm for each day.

    How Do You Determine If It's a Bad Day, or a Bad Job?
    Last edit by Joe V on Jun 14
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    About Maureen Bonatch MSN, BSN, RN

    Maureen Bonatch MSN, RN is a fiction author and freelance healthcare writer specializing in leadership, careers and mental health and wellness. She is the owner of CharmedType.com and MaureenBonatch.com

    Joined: Mar '05; Posts: 50; Likes: 200
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    Specialty: 20 year(s) of experience in Leadership|Psychiatric Nursing|Education

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  3. by   HiddenAngels
    Love this! How I usually decide if it's a bad day or bad job is my reaction on the return after a vacation. No one is eager to return to work after a nice vacation lol, but if I immediately feel tense or dreadful then I know, for me, it's time to move on. Life's too short.
  4. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Awesome article!
  5. by   Maureen Bonatch MSN
    That's a great way to evaluate your feelings for your job.
  6. by   Shelldepeas
    This article speaks to me on so many levels. I knew it was time to move on from my current job when anxiety kicks in every morning when I get up for work or even the thought of opening my computer to view my assignment for the day. Not to mention my off and on Left Shoulder and chest pain.
  7. by   Rozisgood
    Hey maybe you should check out that left shoulder and chest pain.