The other day I was talking with a friend of mine from work. I was curious what type of shows or movies she gravitated to. She told me that she “kept it light.” She said she had been hearing and experiencing other people’s trauma all day every work day for the last 10 years. So when she went home, the last thing she wanted was to hear or watch more trauma.
Now, I think I touched on this briefly before, but I want to expound on this a bit. I 100% understood what she meant by this. For the past 15 years, I’ve heard just about every horrific story you can imagine. I’ve also heard many incredibly beautiful stories as well. But regardless, when you hear and experience story after story of trauma, are you taking care of yourself by watching more on your free time? Nobody needs 24 hours of trauma input.
I realize that some people are more sensitive than others. On the sensitivity spectrum, I’m off the charts sensitive. But, this isn’t about comparing you or me to others. It’s all about what YOU need to decompress. Keep in mind, there are many people out there who have jobs that are not emotionally taxing and who aren’t hearing or experiencing trauma stories…EVER. Chances are they will have a higher capacity for certain types of entertainment. Good for them. But before you jump into the next TV series with your significant other, be honest about what you want to get out of it. Try being a little more deliberate about what you want to watch on your down time.
As caregivers we rarely have a say in what we are going to see. We have to treat and serve everyone that walks through our doors, as we should! But when we’re off duty, we get a say! So really think about what will help you recharge effectively.
Personally, I cannot watch Law and Order SVU anymore. If I see one more episode about a woman getting raped living alone in NYC, it will officially do my head in. I refuse to watch anything that induces fear in me. I also can’t watch another movie about HIV. I know there are amazing movies out there but I work in that field. After I watch movies that focus on the AIDS epidemic in the 80’s, I’m a wreck. Done. Spent. We need these movies. Absolutely. It does my heart good to know that they exist. But on my down time, I cannot.
I want to feel joy, I want to laugh, I want to watch a show that has nothing to do with the medical field. I want a….break. I need a break. So do you.
Take care of YOU.