Resurgence of Anxiety

Hello All,

So this is kind of both a life post and a nursing post, but i have been having a lot more anxiety lately. I think there are several factors that play into this, but I definitely noticed an increase.

I thought maybe it was (those who don’t appreciate lady talk avert your eyes) where I was in my cycle, but after several days of feeling melancholy, I felt like I needed to something more. After having now settled in somewhat to my new surroundings, I have come to the conclusion that I need to do some more self care.

One of the first things that my supervisor told me when I started working on my new unit was to take my time to settle into the unit before taking on anything extra. She said to find a mentor or a coworker that you connect with that you can ask questions or feel comfortable talking to. So now that I feel I have been able to do this, I felt like it was time to put some effort back into me, so what better day than Valentine’s Day.

As I lay in bed after a lovely dinner cooked by Ethan (salmon and veggies yum!) and some beautiful gifts (hello Tiffany bracelet…

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and some lovely smelling candles)

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we watched some TV. As we were laying in bed, Ethan snoozing away, and myself awake watching TV, I found that I was feeling amped up and starting to feel that edgy feeling coming on of just wanting to jump out of my skin.

SOOOO being 1:30am I decided naturally that it was time to hop on the treadmill. It had been WAY too long since I had done that, so I only lasted about 15 minutes, but those 15 minutes really helped take the edge off and help me get over that hump of wanting to jump out of my skin.

I now remember the importance of self care, especially in nursing. I need to make sure to take time to care for myself so I can care for others. What is your favorite form of self care? Let me know in the comments 🙂

Until next time

~Niki

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That Crazy Night Shift

Hello All!

I have recently switched back to night shift (as I previously stated in my other post, into higher acuity the PCU), and I totally loving it oddly enough. It is definitely hard on your body, but I think being on a great unit with great people helps! I have completed my “preceptor days” and am now working on my own in this unit. Classes start tomorrow for extra education and training and there is a lot to learn, but I am definitely excited for the challenge. I feel like just in the last 4 short weeks I have learned and grown so much in my role, but have only touched the tip of the ice berg!

I think that my hardest challenge so far has been switching from computer to paper charting, there is no charting by exception when you have to write your assessment down by hand.

Anyway back to the night shift thing, I gave up my coveted day position and returned to the land of the night, and I can honestly say I am not looking back. It’s been about a month and I truly am ok with working nights, occasionally its more difficult to make plans with the day walkers, and get errands done, but in the overall scheme of things it isn’t so different from the day time its just perpetually dark. Definitely need to make sure to take a Vitamin D supplement as last time I was on night shift I fell into the deficient levels and was told by my doctor that I needed to supplement.

I thought it would be difficult to stay awake and that my system would hate switching back, but I think that my body tends to do slightly better with a night shift schedule as I am SUPER not a morning person (Those 5am wake up calls for me were brutal). Now that I work night shift, I have to plan seeing my family and friends more, but the pay is a bit better so it sort of evens out in the end.

If you have any comments or suggestions on current or ideas for future posts, post them in the comments!

Until next time

~Niki

Sleeping and Nights

I have finally been able to switch over to night shift! YAY! This is a win for me, as I tend to be more of a night owl than a morning person. But there are a lot of people that have a hard time adjusting to nights. This post is going to be about what works for me to be functional on non work days, and everyone is different so I please keep that in mind when reading this article.

I am already naturally a night person so some of these things are much easier to me. To begin, I have skewed my schedule so that I am up until 0200-0300, and sleep until 1100-1200, typically 0300-1100. This sets me up to stay up to 0730 the next morning when I need to work.

Setting an alarm the next day after your last night shift and getting up to go for a walk or go do something active definitely helps you get over that feeling of being hit by a freight train.

I always wake up parched and with a mild headache, the getting up and moving helps with the headache, and a good glass of water and rehydrating all day helps with the parched feeling. However the parched feeling is not exclusive to nights for me, I am never drinking enough water when I am working, which is a personal issue and potentially the topic of another post ;). I enjoy my hot yoga, going for long walks outside, and some gym time. I get bored easily so I try to keep things varied, so I don’t burn out on one thing.

One thing I have also realized for me is caffeine. Oddly enough contrary to probably what almost every other nurse out there is going to say, I need to stay away from caffeine. It makes my sleep cycles really strange and too much of it actually exacerbates any anxiety I might have. So I have been weaning myself off of my caffeine, although it’s slow going, I definitely enjoy a cup of coffee every now and again (hey, don’t forget to feed the soul and do things that make you happy 🙂 ).

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I am so tired by the time I get home and go to bed I don’t really need black out curtains, but a lot of people benefit from them. I used a throw blanket (which worked just as nicely) for a while, but then I find that for me it is extra difficult to get out of bed after having slept for my 4-6 hours, so I have left them behind for a brighter future (pun intended 😉 ).

I usually pass out and am sleeping for a solid 4 hours before I wake up, but if I have had a particularly trying or emotional night and am having trouble getting to or falling asleep, I have melatonin. I rarely use it, but it is rather reassuring to know that I have it should I ever need it. It is over the counter, but I spoke with my doctor about dosing before beginning to take it, so I would never recommend to take supplements without knowledge about what you’re doing.

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Any other tips and tricks out there about working nights and sleeping during the day? I know I am still testing different things out to see what is going to work best for me, so this is a preliminary list of what works for me :).

 

~Niki