I have nothing but gratitude for the dear friends I’ve met along the way at work. In caregiving professions, we can become instantly bonded with co-workers through shared tender and tough moments. Having people at work, that get you, and understand your day to day, is PRICELESS. In fact, deep connections at work have played a massive role in my attempt at self-care.
Where I do believe these friendships can start to get blurry in the self-care department is when the focus of conversations OUTSIDE of work become purely venting sessions. “Talking shop” on your off hours, has its place but I encourage you to be mindful of how much actual time you are allowing your mind to recoup from day to day work stressors. I LOVE a good process session, BELIEVE ME. But I also like arriving to work refreshed and not MORE mentally exhausted than when I left!
If your friend and family group consists mainly of people in your field, think about establishing a “no talking shop” rule. If that feels impossible, start small with open ended questions that aren’t about work. Or think of activities that you can all do together that don’t involve work talk! I know of one group of co-workers that established a book club. Suddenly they had more to talk about, and saw book club as a real BREAK.
I love connecting with friends who aren’t in my field. I am fascinated by how others spend their days. What do they think about? What are their dreams? What inspires them? These conversations are so nourishing, my brain gets a break from one mode of thinking and I suddenly dare to imagine I can have thoughts that don’t involve healthcare!
I recently stumbled upon this quote, and like the challenge it encourages:
“If you want to know what your future looks like, just look at the the last five conversations you had.”
For this next week, keep this quote in mind and see what kind of conversations you encourage or seek out!
Take care of YOU!