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What do you do to stay positive?

Stress 101   (3,156 Views | 15 Replies)

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This is something I'm struggling with right now. After listening to patients vent their anger, listening to administrators/supervisor get angry at me for not doing this and that, after listening to coworkers complain, complain, complain about so and so or this and that...

I feel so angry!! Feel like crap for doing a bad job, and just generally absorbing all these negative emotions from people. Feel like utter crap. I find myself more whiny and ******, and I hate myself even more for it. I don't want to keep thinking "I suck, this profession is not for me, I should just quit" every time I have a crappy day and do a bad job.

How do you stay positive when you feel like crap?? How do you maintain a good attitude and stay focused at work even though you're having a rough time? This is so challenging!!!!

Edited by sirI

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RNperdiem has 14 years experience as a RN.

1 Follower; 4,301 Posts; 30,172 Profile Views

I look for positives, even if it takes some dark humor to find some. You get to go home at the end of the shift. The patient might never leave the hospital alive. You are getting paid; payday is this week. You are employed when many struggle. There are worse jobs out there, and I worked them for a lot less money.

Don't complain out loud to your coworkers. It helps stop the negativity cycle if you don't feed it. A negative unit culture is destructive to unit morale, so don't contribute.

On a really bad day, replace the "I suck" negative thoughts with "I am doing the best I can with what I have to work with." Keep that mantra going and count down the hours until it is time to leave.

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classicdame is a MSN, EdD and specializes in Hospital Education Coordinator.

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separate yourself from the negativity as much as possible. Science shows that even if you PRETEND to be jovial it makes a difference in the energy you radiate and that becomes contagious. Only you are responsible for your attitutde. Take vacations. I like mini ones where I can go to a festival, watch a movie in a theater, eat out in another town, anything that is different from my every day routine. I hope you are blessed with happy thoughts today.

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SierraBravo has 3 years experience.

547 Posts; 8,351 Profile Views

1. Work three 12 hour shifts which gives you 4 days a week off.

2. Surround yourself with positive, upbeat people.

3. Make sure you take care of yourself when you're not at work (and when you're at work).

4. Find a good group of people that can be your support system (I've found that nursing school classmates that I stay in contact with are a great support system because they understand my concerns, but they aren't a part of my unit so I don't have to worry about what we talk about getting around or back to management - and yes, that does happen if you confide in people on your unit).

5. Compassion fatigue is a very real thing.

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62 Posts; 4,026 Profile Views

I have a challenge with this too. Some days I go in fully loaded with a positive attitude, good rest, etc. Then the happenings in the shift just snatches my joy. Some things I try to do is to take a nice, hot shower when I get home and let every negative thing go into the drain. I say to myself, "This too shall pass". I vent to someone, mainly my husband, and then try not to bring it up again for the rest of the day. With this method, I can focus my time off on what is really important and not give any more energy to the job before I have to go back.

I have not done this last one in a while, but I used to create things to look forward to and tell myself, that I am here so that I can go to Vegas, or eat a nice dinner, etc. Having something to look forward to would be a good motivator and a protection from some negativity and bad energy at work.

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Tenebrae has 8 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Mental Health, Gerontology, Palliative.

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For me I ask myself, have I done the best job possible that I can do? I have no control over what colleagues do, all I can ensure is that I do my best for each patient that I work with.

If I can answer yes, I acknowledge that while stuff around me may be mad and insane what I am doing is making a difference.

I had a positive today. I tendered my resignation as I have a new job in a LTC. One of the senior nurses looked at me and said "this company is barking mad letting you go"

I think as well for myself, we have lots of politics and horizontil violence in my current work place. I was getting so angry and hung up over it, and stressed out. I had to make a conscious decision to let the stuff go that I had no control over. Its a continuing journey however it has started making this situation slightly easier to deal with

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TheCommuter has 14 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych.

4 Followers; 226 Articles; 27,607 Posts; 321,273 Profile Views

How do you stay positive when you feel like crap?? How do you maintain a good attitude and stay focused at work even though you're having a rough time? This is so challenging!!!!
I've become very efficient at tuning people out. I pretend as if I'm listening to them when I really just hear them.

Tuning people out and refusing to allow them to rent my head space really helps when dealing with their drama and shenanigans.

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SierraBravo has 3 years experience.

547 Posts; 8,351 Profile Views

I have not done this last one in a while, but I used to create things to look forward to and tell myself, that I am here so that I can go to Vegas, or eat a nice dinner, etc. Having something to look forward to would be a good motivator and a protection from some negativity and bad energy at work.

I like this alot! Great idea!

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51 Posts; 3,385 Profile Views

a lot of great advice!!! Thanks! I'll keep these in mind....actually, I already started to feel better after reading your posts, so thank you, really.

I realized part of my ability to cope has to do with being assertive. I'm generally a quiet person, and my soft skills need some serious work.

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Farawyn has 25 years experience and specializes in A little bit of everything..

2 Followers; 12,645 Posts; 98,391 Profile Views

Go outside and take a break. Put your face in the sun. Walk. Listen to music you love. Talk to other nurses- but I do agree with others that it can feed the cycle. Eat a cookie.

Lexapro helps, too.

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Codeblue1982 has 8 years experience and specializes in ICU.

45 Posts; 2,786 Profile Views

I was at a conference this week and negatoids as the speaker called them were discussed as being those who bring the morale of the unit down as well as individuals. I personally think the best way to deal with negativity is to then ask the person what they are going to do to fix whatever they are complaining about they will either shut up or have 50 excuses to which I reply you don't know what will work if you don't try and then excuse myself from the presence of that person. I know some people really absorb the moods of others, I am one of them, so I find it important to surround myself with positive people or try to role model for those who are not so positive.

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kdkout has 20 years experience.

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I try to avoid the 'negative nellies' at work even though I am one sometimes. I love to laugh and I make an effort to smile a lot and laugh at work - it keeps me sane. It often doesnt work, but I know what sleep deprivation really effects me - so I guard my sleep as much as I can. (Not so easy with kids). I wont ever give up 12 hour shifts. They are way too long - 15+ hours with the commute - but I'm off for 4 days. I put my imaginary work hat on for work days, and I take it off for non-work days. I RARELY take work home with me since working 12s - the shorter shifts made me always think about work becasue I was there so often. I have a much different life on my days off. I almost never hang out with coworkers - they are coworkers first. We are friends at work but I want to keep my work life separate from my home life. Lower your expectations if you are a perfectionist like I am - there's always something that will not be good enough, someone who will drive you crazy, blame you, etc.....but you are only one person. I work hard, do my best, then I go home and forget about it.

Oh, I forgot the best one- many times I have to tell myself "it's just a job." It sounds callous, but it's how I stay sane. I know it's sometimes more than that, but I'm 20 years in....when you keep looking at it like it's this big "career" (because you drank the koolaid in nursing school), then you are often left disappointed. Nursing is really, really hard if you do it well, and it'll cost you. So, make sure that your personal life is good. Dont put so much emphasis on this job to "fulfill" you because it won't. It's a job, it pays the bills, you do make a difference to individuals but it's still a job. When you are happy on your off days and not dependent on your job for your happiness, you'll feel better.

Edited by kdkout

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