How to cope with stress overload??

Specialties School


Specializes in Med Office, Home Health, School Nurse.

I realize this probably is off-range for posts on here, but I need some advice...

I'm a 24 year old elementary school nurse. I've been happily married for over 5 years, and I have a 22 month old daughter. She in herself is stressful enough sometimes (haha). I was recently diagnosed with POTS (postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome). I'm on blood pressure medication 3x daily and a blood thinner 1x daily. My medicine controls my problem fairly well, most of the time.

In addition to the toddler and the new diagnosis, I teach three after school classes a week, I'm Yearbook editor at the elementary school, I'm chairperson of the Safety Committee, and I cover the high school across the street as needed. I do all the drug testing for the athletes and suspicions at the high school and middle school. I teach a class for 3-5 graders at my church every Wednesday night, and if you look at my planner in my purse, you'll see that I don't have a completely free weekend until the second weekend of January 2011.

So I thought I had enough stress in my life...apparently not. My husband and I are going to be renting a house from a teacher here at the school and she's moving out on the 14th...of NOVEMBER. She wants us to start moving in on the 15th....WHAT?! That gives me LESS than two weeks to get everything together and ready to go. I've decided I'm going to go ahead and pay my current landlord this month's rent so that we can keep our stuff in our current house until Dec 15th. I will take our necessities to the new house on Nov 15th and we will start living there and sort and move stuff out of the old house bit by bit until Dec 15th.

Add to this the fact that Thanksgiving, my daughter's 2nd birthday, and Christmas are coming up, and I feel like a basketcase!

This is also a bad time of the year for me because Nov 12 is my youngest son's birthday (he died at 11 weeks of age, almost three years ago) and Dec 7th is my oldest son's birthday (he was stillborn at 23 weeks almost four years ago.) It's a very hard time of the year anyways, and life is chaotic!

What's your best way to deal with unavoidable stress?? Any "secrets" you can share with me? haha!!

I guess I posted all this here because people always seem to think that school nursing is a "gravy train" job and there's no stress, but you all would understand perfectly the stress I feel at work and adding that to my personal life stresses, maybe you have some advice? Anyone going through a similar situation?

Just for clarification--I'm not suicidal or anything like that! No depression or anxiety. Well, maybe some anxiety, but just the normal stress type...I don't plan on hurting myself or anyone else. No where near anything severe like that.

:sstrs:--THIS is what I feel like most days haha!

Sounds like you need to learn the word "No" which is a hard thing for many of us to say. But you need time for yourself. Sounds like with your new illness your body is telling you to slow down. Reevaluate all your commitments and say no to those that you can now and give notice to others. I would also call up a local hospice and ask about grief counseling for your losses. Many offer free support groups and low cost one to one counseling.

Specializes in Med Office, Home Health, School Nurse.

I've gone through grief counseling and it's not so much that I need help with that. It's going to be a hard time of year for me and my family, regardless of how much counseling or help I've gotten. I've gone to support groups for parents who have lost children and have gotten a lot of help there also.

As for saying "no", that's never been a strong talent of mine, and I guess that's catching up with me now....

Your friends and family need to have an "intervention" and flat out refuse to let you sign up for anything else, and as well as getting you to resign a few of your duties! Take time in life to stop and smell the roses!

You might want to reconsider doing the drug screens too, as it may become an issue if chain of custody is not followed. And why should "the nurse" be responsible for collecting urine specimens? Why can't someone in the athletic dept do it? It doesn't take an RN to do drug screens.

Specializes in School Nursing.

Delegate, delegate, delegate! Is there a grandparent who would be tickled pink to take over planning of the 2 year-old's birthday party? Can you recruit guest speakers for some of your teaching engagements? Can you afford to hire movers who will pack and move your home? If the holidays are usually at your house, can you ask another family member to host, or simplify the celebrations? Think creatively and recruit friends and family to pitch in. I get the impression that you are always the first to volunteer to help is the time to call in some of those favors!

And, I agree that learning to say "no", regardless of how difficult it is, is a necessary skill for many of us women caretakers. It takes practice, so start practicing now :)

Specializes in emergency room, TBI.

Ok, so everyone has great suggesstions...the best one is saying No....the hardest one is saying No. Let's admit we are control freaks, and love to fix it all, we are nurses! :smackingf In June my mother passed away from Ovarian Cancer, it was such a wake up call to me. Last fall I was as busy as you were, and slowly as my mother's illness progressed I was forced to say "I can't do this anymore!" I will admit it made me feel like such a failure, but it gave me strength to put my true needs first, myself....not what I wanted to be (super woman) but who I needed to be real womam! So I looked at everything and put them down on paper numbering the 1-10 1 being most important and 10 least. made it easy to give up somethings that were still very important/ valuable to me and my family, but not as big as #1! Honestly the things I kept are so much more enjoyable now!

Good luck to you, I hope you get through the holidays with a deep breath and love of your family!

Specializes in Med Surg,.

Please say "NO" before it is too late. One misshap and you are toast. The board of nursing is waiting for nurses just like you. I was one. They were there when I arrived to greet me. They had not one once of sympathy for me, my burned down home, my nine children, my brother who just dropped dead at 34 years old, my not so happy husband, my full-time job, full-time school work. They fixed it all for me. They will fix it for you too. I promise.

Specializes in OB/GYN, Peds, School Nurse, DD.

It seems to me that much of your stress is actualy *not* "unavoidable." You signed up for it! I think you need to take stock right now and decide what things you MUST do. Things that ONLY you can do. Everything else needs to go to someone else, at least for a time. I"m not kidding. You have set yourself up for failure and sooner or later there's going to be a crisis.

Specializes in school nursing.

Without knowing it, you made my day better! I was feeling very stressed when I clicked on your post. But you know what, I have three healthy children and have never experienced your loss so my day wasn't as bad as I thought!

Say NO,NO, NO and put yourself first for a change! Get a pedicure, get a massage, do something you love (and never have time for).

Specializes in Med Office, Home Health, School Nurse.
Without knowing it, you made my day better! I was feeling very stressed when I clicked on your post. But you know what, I have three healthy children and have never experienced your loss so my day wasn't as bad as I thought!

Say NO,NO, NO and put yourself first for a change! Get a pedicure, get a massage, do something you love (and never have time for).

Thanks. Your reply made my day better as well.

Remember to hug and kiss those three precious children every chance you get...I know from experience that you are never guaranteed the next moment with them.

Glad to know I made someone's day better!! :-)

You need to take a "sick day" all for yourself. Have someone watch your baby and like someone else said pamper yourself all day long. Get a massage, you hair done, nap, read, take a long bath, whatever but no work for 8 hrs at least!!! Then start thinking of those commitments that bring you joy and energize you and whichever ones do not then cross them off your list. Call the people up and say I'm sorry but due to having a full-time job and a young child and some new health problems I can no longer commit to... at this time so please have a replacement as soon as possible.No one will stop liking you and even if they complain realize it will all go on without you. I, too also over-commited at times and what happens is burn-out. Also, you finally have this healthy baby you've always wanted and these years go so fast so you need to find a way to slow down and just enjoy her as much as possible! Then when someone asks you to take on yet another thing just say sorry but I'm too busy right now and it does get easier with practice. The only reason you keep getting asked so much is they all know you don't know how to say no and will do it so it makes their life easier. Well now it's time to make your life easier and be kind to yourself. Once you slow down, take time for yourself, ask for help with moving and the party and whatever else you need I guarantee you, your husband and baby will all be happier and that is what is most important! Also, slowing down will give you time to process and move through all the emotions you have to deal with from the loss of your other two babies which is important so they don't stay bottled up inside because you don't have time to deal with them. I used to feel bad about asking for help until I realized that people like to help and feel needed (which is why you can't say no) but those with more time on their hands like grandparents are thrilled to be included in things like planning parties and bringing food etc. It would also help for you to figure out why you feel the need to do so much so you won't keep doing it-that's not healthy. Good luck!

Hi, I think I might have POTS and I'm just wondering why you are on blood thinners. I was on Fragmin while pregnant and my symptoms improved. I'm just wondering if there is a connection. Any information you can give me would be greatly appreciated.

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