Creating a self care practice is not about sugar coating a miserable situation. It’s about helping you see more clearly what you need and acting on it. And sometimes that will mean making the tough decision to leave a place that no longer serves you.
Your employer also has a big hand on how you feel as an employee based on the way they treat you. Do you actually get a lunch break or is that strongly discouraged. Do you have to eat at your desk and call that “lunch?” Do you work with toxic people and nothing has been done about it? Do you have any agency in your job? Do you wake up every day with a knot in your stomach because you have to go to work? Do you have vacation time but they never let you use it?
There will be major clues that it might be time to leave. And if you haven’t been paying attention to yourself lately, ask those around you how you appear. There’s nothing quite like the wake up call from loved ones telling you you’ve been a miserable human to be around. Believe me.
I totally understand that it may feel like an insurmountable mountain to climb. But 9 times out of ten, the hardest part is making that decision that it’s time to go. It does require the mental energy to come to that decision and act on it. And sure it’s scary, but pay attention to how you feel in the process. If there’s even a hiccup of excitement or joy coming back to you, embrace that. Picture yourself waking up excited for the day. Visualize yourself not spent after a day and having energy for other things in your life.
If you’ve been miserable for awhile, you may think that there’s no hope and that all jobs will essentially be like the one you have, so you might as well just stay. That is misery talking, not reality. Would you want that for a family member or friend? To remain miserable? NO! If you are the this stage, push through your misery and make a plan. If you are bad at keeping plans, enlist someone to keep you accountable and check in.
My first nursing job was ROUGH. I had a lot of time off, but was miserable once I got there. And unfortunately my time off was spent dreading going back in. There was a job that I had my eye on but I was convinced I was too “new” of a nurse to get it. However I pushed through that fear and misery and applied anyway and thankfully got the job. Whenever it’s time for me to leave a place and I’m convinced I can’t do it, I remind myself of that first job and how I surprised myself with my ability to leave and head towards a much better quality of life. (In fact, I learned how NOT to live my life because of that job.)
Chances are you have had a similarly bad situation that you left. Whether it be work related or something from your personal life, remind yourself of it and gain strength and courage from your own abilities. You’ve got this.
You are not your job, and this is the life you’ve been given. So if it’s time to go, then go on and git!
Take care of YOU.