Are you taking job-related stress home to your loved ones? Nurses are expected to be engaged, enthused and active at work. But meeting job demands without proper support and resources can lead to high levels of stress, which can follow you home and effect the relationships with your loved ones.
Learning how to reduce on-the-job stress can help you be a better parent.
The first step is to understand the source of your anxiety in your workplace. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) defines job stress as “the harmful physical and emotional responses that occur when the requirements of the job do not match the capabilities, resources or needs of the worker.”
Identify and list excessive job pressures and demands. Discuss your concerns with the appropriate parties. Hopefully, some critical changes will be made. But if these changes are not possible, and a new position is not a reality anytime soon, consider taking these steps to help you unwind and be a less stressed-out parent at the end of each work day:
■ Imagine leaving your work problems on the job when you walk out the door. Mentally picture yourself boxing up all of the job-related issues and leaving them behind.
■ Create an “at home ritual” that gives you permission to unwind. It could be a bubble bath, listening to your favorite music or playing a game with your child.
■ Ask your family for help with meals, from planning the menu and cutting up ingredients to establishing fun theme nights, such as Mexican Monday or Fun Foods Friday. Infuse creativity and entertainment into daily chores.
■ Exercise to alleviate tension. Better yet, go on a family walk or hold workout sessions indoors while playing your family’s favorite songs. Make sweating a fun, family affair.
■ Avoid getting into the habit of drinking excessive alcohol and caffeine.
■ Seek help from friends, family and neighbors if you feel overwhelmed with meeting the needs of your children or spouse.
■ Schedule adequate time for sleep to recharge your batteries. Consult a doctor if you have difficulty sleeping.
■ Reflect on the positives in your life.
Job stress has far reaching consequences. Learn how to manage it, at work and home, to take better care of your family.