There’s a certain amount of processing that is needed after a long shift, week or month. I personally am all for processing. But I also think there is such as a thing as too much processing.
When talking about your job starts bleeding into your down time, when is it too much? If your time off is crucial for you to recharge and rejuvenate, is it a realistic expectation that you will feel refreshed if you’ve spent your days off only talking about your job? Or only surrounding yourself with those who work in your field?
First of all, THANKFULLY you are more than your job. You are an interesting human being, with thoughts and interests that are uniquely yours. So when you become single minded and only focus on that one aspect of your life, you are cheating yourself (and others) of a more vibrant life.
Secondly, put yourself on the other side of the caregiving role. What if you were the client or patient? Would you prefer to have a caregiver who didn’t take time for themselves on their off time? Who didn’t live a full vibrant life? Who didn’t recharge on their down time prior to caring for you? Of course not. You’d want a caregiver with a healthy balance in their life.
Now let me be clear, I am not condoning bottling up stuff that comes up for you at your job. You should definitely process, with co-workers, your spouse, a best friend or therapist. BUT, don’t let that be all you do. Don’t let that be all you think about.
Foster friendships outside of your working world. Be open to the world around you, take that tango class you’ve been eyeing. Learn how to make sushi. Host a game night where friends bring another friend. Have a dinner party with people you’ve been meaning to have over. Start a running group. Start a book club.
Or recharge through more solitary activities if you are “peopled out.” Designate time during the week to write. Start writing every day. Challenge yourself to try and make a new cuisine. Download the app Duolingo and learn a new language (it’s free!). Buy a ukulele, and learn to play through youtube videos. Start painting again. Take a pottery class.
Look regardless of what you choose, when you break up the monotony and the intensity of your profession with something new to think about and look forward to, you are TRULY recharging and most importantly…LIVING!
Take care if YOU.