Here’s my latest article on McKnight’s Long-Term Care News:
Vacation envy, or ‘How to get your groove back’
Perhaps, like me, you’ve recently had time off from work but the only break on the near horizon is a measly midweek Independence Day.
Or maybe, like a coworker of mine, you’ve scheduled your summer vacation for the last week of August and you’re holding down the fort for your coworkers in the middle of a heat wave, watching others return to work tan, energized and eager to show off their vacation photos.
Or possibly you’re just plain tired, exhibiting some of the symptoms below:
1. Wondering if the work you do really makes a difference.
2. Feeling overwhelmed by regulatory requirements.
3. Noticing every unfilled sanitizer dispenser and every chip in the wood veneer furniture.
4. Wanting to buy gifts for all the elders. (This is both a sign of and a contributor to fatigue)
5. Considering lying down on one of the resident’s beds for an afternoon nap.
If you recognize any of these signs in yourself, it’s wise to take note and to take steps toward self-care. Our work is important and the attitude with which we complete our tasks matters. Especially in jobs where we care for others, we need to “fill the well,” as the saying goes, because it’s impossible to “pour from an empty cup.”
How to get your groove back
If your vacation break is behind you, or so far ahead that you wonder how you’re going to make it, try these ideas to re-energize and add zip to your workday.
1. Complete your paperwork in a quiet corner of the nursing home patio.
2. Take up a new hobby or rekindle an interest in an old one. Tennis, anyone?
3. Take a mental health day, morning, or afternoon. For added mileage, don’t tell anyone at all.