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Nursing Burnout: The Solvable Problem Within Your Control

If you’re reading this, we have at least one thing in common: We feel the weight of the past two years and don't know how to get out from under it without quitting our jobs or leaving a career we worked so hard to get.

Worse yet, it feels like the system we're in doesn't care or that they're not doing enough. Since we can only change ourselves and how we show up in the world, I'm here to share some ways to help you feel good again - and maybe even love nursing again.  

 

Maybe you…. 

Collapse on the couch after shifts with no energy for anything except to binge Netflix and scroll social media

Know you need to exercise, sleep, and eat well but you can't get yourself to do it

Are tired of people telling you to "just do more yoga"

Forgot what it feels like to have fun

Have stopped caring about patients like you used to

Feel stuck in a job that you used to love

 

Maybe you’ve tried….

Increasing your self-care

Sleeping more

Venting...

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Until we do this, we can't recover from burnout

As a nurse you are likely are exhausted - depleted, disheartened, and needing change but in a lot of ways feeling bound to your work.  It is important, really essential work.  If you’re still wanting to do it, I suspect you are looking for a way to through these beyond challenging times.

I know as a social worker whenever I have felt burned out and dreaming of escape to a simpler life, I longed for a solution.  I was so mad at the system and excepted them to change.  And that wasn’t wrong.  But the thing is, what the system did was out of my control.

As a life-learner dedicated to healing and growth, I knew I needed to figure out how to heal through the tough stuff rather than succumbing to it.  As I dug deep inside myself I found there was one thing I was doing horribly wrong in the system I was in that was making it worse.  And beneath that thing was a core belief, likely a core belief that you as a nurse also hold.

The core belief I...

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Burnout Recovery: Simple, Not Always Easy

Reflecting on a conversation with a friend and fellow psychotherapist, I’m realizing that the ways to recover from burnout are in some ways simple.  For example, one piece of burnout recovery is releasing stress from the body by completing the stress response (check out my free e-book for more on that).  The most effective way to do this is exercise (or movement for those who have aversions to the “E” word). 

Exercise seems like a simple answer to the awful way burnout has left us feeling.  It’s not profound or mind-blowing.  And sure, it’s not the only thing we need to do to recover from burnout, but it is a solid first step.

The thing about burnout recovery that is hard is getting our burned out selves to do the stuff that we know will help.

In my nursing burnout recovery program, the first thing we do is go over how exercise and other tools help us complete the stress response and why this is an essential first step.  ...

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The Deeper Issue of Nursing Burnout: Why It's not just about changing jobs or changing the system

After two years of the pandemic exacerbating the previously existing nursing shortages, nurses are burned out and leaving not just their jobs but the profession.  There are many who have ideas on how to shift healthcare organizations to improve nurse retention and thus improve patient outcomes; I have some myself.  But one thing I see few talking about is how to help the nurses with their burnout.  Whether you are a healthcare leader hoping to help your nurses or a nurse yourself, I’m sharing this in hopes of helping nurses both feel good again and be able to offer the highest quality care (if they choose to stay in nursing).  Read on.

While changing jobs and careers or even the systems nurses work in may seem attractive, there is a bigger issue at hand here:  The levels of stress built up that create burnout get stuck in the body*.  They follow you wherever you go; so whether nurses stay in their current jobs, find a new one, or the systems...

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