How often we have heard:
“As soon as I arrived at work, I hit the ground running,” and/or “I have barely had enough time to come up for air today!”
Our particular vocations require us to give and give and give. And, because this is what we accepted as our ministry in life, we enjoy our vocation, but frequently deplete our energies as we offer the care so needed by those who enter our doors.
So, how do we recharge when the busy-ness of our lives seemingly allows no time for personal self-care in the workplace? How do we renew…FAST…and while on the job?
First, recognize the emotion(s) you are feeling at THAT moment of stress (which may occur several times during the day given the type of our vocation),
Know that emotion is energy in motion; held emotions promote stressors that can promote illness,
Release these emotions through action –
- Take 3 deep breaths slowly,
- Relax your tongue and unclench your teeth – these are natural stress signs,
- Relax your facial muscles,
- Move slowly – we have a tendency to rush when stressed – SLOW DOWN,
- Release negative thoughts – “I can’t do this, I’ll never get this right, etc.” Transform these thoughts to positives and to the knowledge that you are more than these limiting beliefs.
- Make all of these a HABIT! Replace the habit of “I don’t have time to breathe” to “I will take a moment to breathe and recharge.”
- Remove the word “try” and “if” from our vocabulary. These words are negative words!
Whatever our faith, the word “Sabbath” possibly exists. According to Merriam-Webster, one meaning for Sabbath is “rest.” Rest can be:
- to prepare yourself for the day by repeating a personal affirmation on your way from the parking lot to your office or station of work (this is being proactive and a wonderful habit to begin),
- reading a favorite poem, devotion, mantra before your work day begins,
- as brief as breathing calmly and slowly as you approach a patient’s hospital room door,
- a brief moment of hesitation before opening the door,
- a short time of meditation during your lunch break,
- an intentional time of a moment of meditation in one of the chapels located on our campuses,
- a walk through the hallways with a focus on refreshing our bodies and minds in order to be ready for the rest of our day in the workplace.
Remember, our work is a reflection of all that is decent and moral. We will have moments of joy and laughter as well as those of sadness and tears. We will sustain each other through respect and gratitude, and we will honor our differences.
Written by Debbie Wall, Clinical Chaplain, Spiritual Care Services Johnston Health-Clayton.