I was just settling down to write this post when my gf stepped on a nail in the basement while working on a project involving saws and boards (and boards with nails sticking out). There was a small flurry of excitement involving wound irrigation, tetanus-shot record-finding and online checking of indications for repeat Td booster shots. After this chance to showcase my nurse-y skills, the dust has settled and the gf is ok (and is up to date on her tetanus booster).
So it’s been a month since I initially wrote about feeling like I was racing towards burnout. I realized that I had to make some changes if I wanted to stay in my job without become a bitter, grumpy beast. Since then, I’ve been trying to make better choices with my long-term mental and physical health in mind. These are the things I’ve done:
- I changed my schedule to work 1 evening a week, which allows me to have a morning off to go to the gym, run errands, drink coffee on the couch, etc.
- I took advantage of my employee health benefits–which I think of as the “Please Take Advantage of This Fitness Program So You Don’t Get A Chronic Illness And Cost Your Insurance A Million Dollars” program–and hired a nutritionist at a discounted rate. I was instructed to cut down on carbs and sugar, increase my protein and increase my exercise. Could’ve seen that one coming, I guess, but it’s been helpful to have guidance from a professional. Somehow the nutrition talks just aren’t as motivating when I give them to myself.
- I’ve been focusing on making my electronic notes shorter without sacrificing too much quality. It’s an ongoing struggle between my need for brevity and my tendency towards wordiness. Some of my notes now take only 5 minutes to write, but others still take 20 minutes–especially the complicated ones that involve a lot of chart reviewing. Sigh.
- I’ve been going back to the gym with the goal of exercising at least 3 times a week. I’ve gone back to yoga a few times, too.
- My wonderful collaborating physician who co-signs all the charts for my transgender patients arranged a meeting with the agency’s grant-writer to discuss getting some grant $$ for LGBTQ health and outreach. It’s a dream at this point, but it’s an awesome dream!
- I’m in therapy. Can’t deal with shit from work and family drama at the same time without professional help.
- And most difficult, I’ve been trying to let go of my desire to be liked by everyone I work with. I’m not trying to be a bitch on purpose, but there are some things that are meant to be delegated and there’s no way to make everyone happy when I’m trying to lay out some new boundaries and expectations. It sucks to go from “I’m your friend-colleague, not your superior!” to “Fax this form for me, please” but it has to be done.
Still on my list of burnout-avoidance projects: start a “gratitude journal,” exercise daily instead of 3 times a week, go to bed by 10p.m. So far I’m feeling good, though.