Now that I am full force in the medical career I have realized 2 things. One, I have the power to make or break someone’s day. I have the power to help someone or hurt them, and I have the platform to make a difference or just go through the motions. Secondly, I have also learned that I have to be on ALL the time. There is no having a bad day or feeling tired. There are no excuses to not give the best care and no matter what is thrown at me I MUST continue to smile, explain, console and be caring even when the situation becomes difficult. This is why I’m trying to embrace my off switch.
Everyone needs to find some way to seperate their work and home lives. Many find this extremely easy, while many of us can’t seem to stop worrying about our work and our day. Fatigue plays a HUGE role in this. I come home exhausted every day. My job can be very physical which adds to the tiredness but it’s very mentally draining. I have been struggling lately to come up with ways to destress, clear my head, and leave my work stress at the door so I can enjoy and engage in the little time I do have at home with my family.
My off switch has always worried me because I feel like if I have a moment when I am off others will think I’m unhappy or disengaged. My whole life I have been bubbly, enthusiastic, and fun to be around. However, when I’m off I can become quiet, lethargic, and be more observant than participant. This has always held me back because of the fear of what others will think.
However, now I realize that it’s okay to be off sometimes. I don’t have to smile and engage 24 hours a day. It’s okay to cut myself some slack and give my brain some time to rest, reevaluate and reboot. I give 110% at work and to my patients and pushing myself to be 110% in everything I do, ALL the time is only going to end in me physically burning out.
I don’t think I am alone in this struggle. I think everyone, no matter what they do, struggles with feeling spread to thin and like they don’t have an opportunity to just sit and breathe for a second. We should allow ourselves to do nothing and be nothing for just a little while each day. Just sit and zone out and disengage. We shouldn’t feel guilty for taking 30 minutes to veg and destress. I know my family would rather me be fully with them during the time we do have instead of going through the motions and feeling exhausted.
For anyone who might see me when i’m off, please forgive me in advance. I may not look engaged but I do care and I am participating but I’m also allowing myself the time I so desperately need to re-boot my system in the process.
So to all of you out there give yourself a break, cut yourself some slack and go ahead….flip the switch. You might just find that happy place you were looking for all along…..