How to be in full time work and loving it
How to be in full time work and loving it
I have recently returned to full-time nursing work and I am loving it. It’s been some time since I have worked full-time, and really, I never thought I would do it… ever again.
3 years into my nursing career I was finding it all a bit overwhelming so I began to cut my hours down. Over the years this whittled down to only a few shifts a fortnight, and even then I still found it was too much. But I had to pay the bills, so I worked only as much as I had to: the result being that I financially struggled through life.
What I found was that no matter how many hours I worked, I would still feel overrun by work stress.
I was not escaping it, no matter how little I worked: and because I wasn’t escaping it I needed larger amounts of time away from work. Even when I did have a week off work, I would be back feeling like I needed another week off during my first shift back. I’d notice this after having holidays too. Almost from the moment I got back, I no longer felt like I had just had a break – something many of us can experience at some point in our working lives.
I did have a brief stint of full-time work about 10 years ago, but was constantly tired – I didn’t want to be at work and I was allowing myself to be affected by what was going on in the workplace.
Having worked with many nurses over the years, I know that what I was feeling is a common experience amongst other nurses. It is common for a nurse to reduce his or her hours the longer they spend in nursing, unless they couldn’t due to financial reasons.
Even if they ‘have to’ work longer hours, there is very often the desire to reduce the amount of hours that are worked and often they long for that day, or long for retirement.
Over the last 5 years, with the support of Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine, and because the changes I made to my life resulted in an increase in my energy levels, I increased not only my hours of work back to full-time, but also the level of responsibility I was prepared to take.
Over the last 12 months I could feel that I was ready to go back to full-time work. As I sat with this I could feel how important it was to acknowledge and appreciate myself, the choices I am now making and how the way I care for and nurture myself has supported me in such a way that I am now back in full-time work again, and I am loving it. What I was feeling and observing in my body was key to the choices I was making; choices that I discovered were vital to supporting me in and with my work and how I experienced it. These examples stood out initially as I was learning to listen to and take notice of what my body was saying.
I always felt particularly exhausted after working a morning shift. I would get home and lay on the sofa, fall asleep, wake up for dinner and then fall asleep on the sofa again to wake up and to go to bed.
With this I did two things. I began to go for a walk after work as well as put myself to bed when I felt tired, which was often before 9pm.
The key here is how I went for a walk and how I went to bed. When I walked, I walked in a way that was how my body wanted to walk. If I felt vital I would walk with more of a pace. When feeling tired and tender I would walk with more delicacy.
Going to bed began about 6pm when my focus became about winding down from my day and not getting hooked into activities that were too stimulating, such as watching TV.
I also observed that when I watched TV I could easily ignore those tired signals, whereas without TV I more easily check into what my body is saying, and honour it. I also observed that if I watched TV I was more tired.
This can be challenging when at work, but I just acknowledged what my body was feeling and worked in a way where I did not push myself. Within a short period of time I was no longer tired after work and had plenty of energy to complete my days, even if I was working late.
Re-imprinting your relationship with work
Being honest allows us to change the way we are, which then allow us to change our relationship with work.
I also stopped drinking coffee. A while ago I noted that whenever I did not have my daily coffee I had a two or three-day headache, and that was after only one coffee: but I continued to drink it as I thought it helped me get through my shifts, especially night shift.
I began to wonder that if coffee has this effect then it might not be so good for my body. What I found was that coupled with the above changes, I actually didn’t need coffee (or tea for that matter) to keep me awake or get me through a shift, and that my energy levels were consistent through my day, whatever shift I was working.
There was and is no perfection as I did feel tired at times late in the evening or whenever I was on night shift. Through this I have learned (and am still learning) that my body is a wonderful teacher. It really does tell me everything I need to know and understand about how I am living, the choices that I am making, and that I can always make new choices that are more caring and supportive for myself and my body.
I am relishing the opportunity of being back in full-time work. Admittedly I am now no longer working shift work, but this was never about not working shift work for I would have still returned to full-time work, shift work or not. From experience there is going to be a period of adjustment for the body, but in the knowing of how to support and care for ourselves we build a steady and solid foundation from which we can sustain ourselves in full-time work.
I have an immense appreciation for Serge Benhayon and all that he presents and lives, which has been an endless source of inspiration to me.