Burn Out & Journey to Recovery

I love nursing. Becoming a nurse is one of the best decisions I have ever made. I love my fellow nurses, caring for my patients and their families, and precepting new graduate nurses. I found a passion in cardiac nursing and love taking care of sick hearts. Even with all this, burn out can still strike and leave you feeling down.

Recognizing my Burnout

I have been feeling depressed (between the death of my fur baby, winter blues, life changes in general) and burn out at work. I still enjoy what I do, but I feel a dread before I go into work. My stress and anxiety are high all the time. On my days off, I do nothing but sleep and eat. I don’t want to leave the house. My self care is non existent.

I thought I shouldn’t write this post, because blogging and IG and all the things I follow are about how they fixed having this problem. How they may have bad days, but generally life is great. They have a whole box of tools to get through the bad days. And that just isn’t where I am right now. I miss Southpaw terribly. I miss my family. I don’t know what direction I want to take on my nursing journey- stay in place? Go to day shift? Go to grad school? Try a new unit? All I know is now is not the time for me to make a change in my career.

Burn Out is Inevitable

I decided that someone else out there may be feeling this, and I should share my current experiences and not be ashamed. Nursing is HARD. No matter how much you love it or how much you were made for it, I believe burn out is inevitable. This isn’t my first experience with it. In my BSN program, I did a lot of research about burn out and nurse retention. These are two subjects I’m passionate about and also topics that I feel are not discussed enough in the nursing professions. Burn out is something we should learn about in nursing school along with coping mechanisms. It’s something that should be discussed in our workplace and support should be readily available. The our coworkers are friends bring up these feelings, they should be met with support and love. Burn out is real and hard but it doesn’t have to be the end of your job or nursing career.

Journey to Recovery

I’m going to be honest- the past few months I just have been going through the motions. I go to work, I do the bare minimum at home, I’m just existing. This isn’t a great way to live. I have good moments and happy days, but overall, I see a major difference in how I felt 6 months ago. I finally feel ready to start working on making it better. I’m going to start small- beginning to do self care again. Working on finding what can bring me joy. Sunday, I took a step. I cleaned my house & car and went for a walk outside. Today, I traded post-night shift sleep for a 1.5 hour nap, hair therapy, lunch, and blogging at a coffee shop. These are small steps, but a lot more than I have done for myself lately. I hope to share with you my journey through a series of post on burn out and self care, including research I am doing to learn more about burn out and what we can do to prevent it. My hope is maybe this series of post and vunerability will make even one person feel less alone, and maybe even encourage someone to join me on this journey.

Are you or have you ever experienced burn out? What did you do to feel happy and fulfilled again?

1 thought on “Burn Out & Journey to Recovery”

Nurse Burn Out: Pt 2 | Peace Love and Nursing

[…] burn out so we can intervene and get help before we hit rock bottom. I recently wrote about my own Burn Out & Journey to Recovery . Just because you are burnt out, doesn’t mean you are a bad nurse or that you don’t […]

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