Many people have been talking about making a shift or pivot since COVID hit; I am no different! Many of you know I am a nurse, not currently practicing nursing. With the onset of COVID, it became clear to me that I needed to do something to make a difference. Truth be told, I had some survivor guilt because I was not working in the field. When I suggested I may return to nursing, my family and friends said, “are you CRAZY?!”
My Burnout Story:
I also discovered that I suffered from burnout.
Because I felt stressed, I left nursing and did not care for myself while working. I was always the person who said yes to working extra shifts or staying late with a patient at the expense of my health or time with my family. I left myself behind, Giving to everyone else and not practicing self-care, leaving me feeling tired, stressed, and defeated because I could no longer do the job I loved so much.
Why I became a nurse
When I became a nurse in 1985, I wanted to help people heal. My journey with nursing took so many twists and turns, and now I realize nursing is not the same as it was so many years ago, and the opportunities to heal are not there any longer, for the most part, at least the way I wanted it to be for me. I turned to alternative therapies such as Reiki and Aroma Freedom Technique to get back to healing people in a way that feels fulfilling and rewarding again, but it isn’t enough. Now it is time to heal the nurses who, like me, are hurting and help them to love themselves and their jobs again.
2020 and COVID
Flash forward to 2020, and COVID is devastating nurses everywhere. Nurses are exhausted, stressed, and ready to be done! I had this overwhelming urge to help; I wanted to help people lessen stress, form a community for support, and go back to loving what they do again! I have spoken to many nurses under so much stress and uncertainty that they do not feel like they can continue in a job they love.
I also learned that I had adrenal fatigue, which I had ignored because, like you, I had other things to do! My functional medicine doctor told me I had to reduce the stress in my life. Less stress, I said?! I was in the middle of a significant home remodel, which had been going on for a year, and I had some family struggles and childhood traumas come to the surface. It was time for me to start paying serious attention to my health and well-being, which meant lessening stress in my life.
Thankfully, this leads to more time in nature with my husband and dog. Resting when my body needed rest (believe it or not, that was the hardest part). Learning to meditate, do reiki at least once a day on myself, and use essential oils to quiet that anxious feeling I feel most of the time.
I have partnered with another nurse who has also suffered from burnout and left a job she loved because it was no longer a safe place to work, and the stress of working overtime and being understaffed became too much.
We want to form a community for nurses, a safe place to heal. A place to share nurse humor because, let’s face it, no one understands nurse humor like a nurse! A place to remind you that you are not alone feeling burnout and that there is always hope.
We hope you found this article about Wendy’s burnout story helpful. Do you have a burnout story you would like to tell? Comment below.