It feels strange writing a post after everything that’s happened this past week in Uvalde, TX and Chattanooga, TN. How many more innocent people have to die for a change to be made? I just don’t know how many more times we can say the same thing. Think the same thoughts. Pray the same prayers. I can’t even begin to imagine the heartache the victims’ family members and loved ones feel. It truly pains me. There’s absolutely no reason for anyone to be able to own an assault rifle without extensive background checks, psychological evaluations, and special licenses. I can’t buy the specific brand of potato chips that I want at the store because of supply shortages, but an 18 year-old can get an AR with no problem… make it make sense. It also baffles me that lawmakers are trying to control women’s bodies and ban our choice and ability to have a safe abortion, but literally don’t give a fuck that it’s so easy to buy assault rifles and shoot up elementary schools…. Again- make it make sense. It’s so twisted.
Back to our topic. I wanted to write about stretching ourselves thin. I’ve noticed that a lot of us are “Yes” people- we say yes to everything. Our boss needs a little extra help at work? Sure. Mom needs help organizing something over the weekend? No problem. Overtime? Why not. And hey, I’m not saying we shouldn’t do all of these things, but there has to be a line somewhere. If there’s no line drawn, it’s only a matter of time before we explode.
I think it comes down to balance. We try to do everything and be everything at once. Supermom, Supergirlfriend, Superemployee. Granted, we can be all of those things, but we have to balance it out. Burnout is real, especially in today’s world. There’s constant stimulation, whether it’s from our phones, TV, or the people around us. I want to remind you- it’s okay to say no sometimes. You don’t have to go out for drinks on Friday night if you’re feeling exhausted from a long week at work. You don’t have to pick up that extra overtime shift this week. You don’t have to help your dad clean the garage this weekend. We keep saying yes and yes and yes and it leaves us with no time to just unwind and unpack from our own lives. Pick up the extra shift next week, and tell your dad you’ll help him out the weekend after. If we don’t give ourselves time for ourselves, we’ll literally explode… You know what I mean, a mental breakdown triggered by the smallest of things, but it’s all of our stress just combusting out of us.
I recently made the decision to leave my job as a CVICU nurse to go to the outpatient setting. I loved my job and the kids I got to take care of, but the far commute and long hours PLUS school were just too much. I was going crazy. I felt like I had no time to study or decompress when I got home from my physically and emotionally exhausting shifts. It was a tough decision, but it was a decision I had to make for me. I felt like what I was doing was so important and meaningful and I was afraid to leave, but I know my new position will be fulfilling and important in other ways.
Moral of the story, put yourself first sometimes. Granted, I’m not saying to go full-selfish mode and just say screw everyone, but every now and then it’s ok to just do you and only you. Think about ways to reduce your day to day anxiety and ways to help you decompress. Balance out the things you have to do (helping other people, studying, other activities, etc.) in a way that fits your schedule. Don’t overload yourself with 100 things at once because you said yes to everything.
I hope you guys are continuing to stay safe. Hug your loved ones a little tighter today, and don’t forget to tell people you love them. Life is short. Share your favorite ways to decompress, and think about yourself every now and then. There’s only one you. People will understand.