Sister Talks: Advice on Stress Management
My sister, Jess, and I haven’t always been besties but we’ve really bonded by appreciating each other’s differences rather than letting them get between us these past few years. As a nurse (like I said, we are very different!) she regularly handles a lot of stress and has become a seasoned pro at juggling the night shifts, friendships, a household, and a marriage. This girl still manages to host gorgeous dinner parties and keep up with her workout routine after a 12 hour shift!
Every week we try to fit in a walk to catch up and this week I started asking her questions about stress management. Her answers were too good not to share. I hope you gain just as much insight from her life experience as I have!
Q: What are common stressors in your life?
Common stress for me includes work, finances, relationship difficulties with family/friends/marriage or differences with those people, feeling like I don’t have enough time to accomplish all I want to in a day or week, and frustrations in my personal growth (or lack of growth).
Q: How do you deal with negative feedback?
I love feedback of any kind. Negative feedback propels me into action, even if it can be hard to receive. My worst fear especially at work is that I’m doing something wrong and no one took the time to tell me.
Q: What does self care look like to you?
To me, self care means prioritizing the things that are most important to me so I feel filled and refreshed. It means leaving the house a little messier than I’d like to meet a friend for coffee. It means saying no to the chocolate cake and fueling my body with something nutritious, and maintaining motivation to get a late afternoon jog in. It also means being content with the things I have and not getting caught up in the rat race of working more, making more, and buying more things. Simplifying and contentment are so underrated when talking about self care.
Q: How do you disconnect from work stress when you get home?
Disconnecting from work usually isn’t too hard because I know the next nurse coming on is also competent in taking care of that patient. However, feeling like you missed something or could’ve prevented a negative outcome for your patient is the worst feeling possible. I have to remind myself that I only know what I know and try and learn from the experience. Talking through these scenarios with other nurses, especially more experienced nurses can be incredibly helpful.
Q: When have you felt overwhelmed in your life + what would you tell your past self in that season?
I have felt overwhelmed in seasons of change and in seasons where I felt like I lacked control of the outcome of a scenario. Looking back, I would tell myself to focus on and prepare for the things you can control, and really rest in the Lord to take care of the rest. Seasons of change often bring very busy days. In those seasons I would remind myself to stay true to my priorities (faith, my health, relationships etc) and recognize that the tasks will get done eventually. And, taking out your stress on those close to you accomplishes nothing!!
Q: How do you share your struggles with friends, family, or your spouse?
Honesty, honesty, honesty!! So many times I’ve gone to my husband or a close friend and confided in them with my struggle, thinking I was the worst person ever for thinking, doing, or feeling a certain way and I was met with an “I’ve been there too”. It’s so comforting to know your not alone in your imperfections.
Q: Do you have any tips for people in an intense career, such as nursing?
Don’t beat yourself up for what you don’t know, but also keep a desire for learning more. Stay humble and accept help from the more seasoned nurses around you. Find others in your career that you can relate with and mentor you. Find outlets at home and ways to unplug. Utilize your vacation time too because even a stay-cation can be incredibly rejuvenating.
Interested in more Sister Talks with Jess? She’s got plenty of advice on non-toxic home + beauty, maintaining relationships in a busy lifestyle, and planning the perfect beach day. Let us know in the comments what you want us to touch on next!