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Nursing School and Stress Management

(Photo from North County Home Health and Hospice Agency)

Today was my first out rotation to hospice. No, my rotation was not to the hospice agency where I got the photo from. While sitting at a desk going through my nurse's patient case load for the day, I looked up to the wall and saw a sheet of paper titled "Stress Management." Curious as to what additional insight I could gain about stress management, I read the paper. It read:
Stress Management

A lecturer, when explaining stress management to an audience, raised a glass of water and asked "how heavy is this glass of water?" Answers called out ranged from 20g to 500g. The lecturer replied, "The absolute weight doesn't matter. It depends on how long you try to hold it.

"If I hold it for a minute, that's not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I'll have an ache in my right arm. If I hold it for a day, you'll have to call an ambulance. In each case, it's the same weight, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes."
He continued, "And that's the way it is with stress management. If we carry our burdens all the time, sooner or later, as the burden becomes increasingly heavy, we won't be able to carry on." "As with the glass of water, you have to put it down for a while and rest before holding it again. When we're refreshed, we can carry on with the burden."
"So, before you return home tonight, put the burden of work down. Don't carry it home. You can pick it up tomorrow. Whatever burdens you're carrying now, let them down for a moment if you can."
"Relax; pick them up later after you've rested. Life is short. Enjoy it!"
And then he shared some ways of dealing with the burdens of life:

  1. Accept that some days you're the pigeon, and some days you're the statue.

  2. Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat them.

  3. Always read stuff that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it.

  4. Drive carefully. It's not only cars that can be recalled by their maker.

  5. If you can't be kind, at least have the decency to be vague.

  6. If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.

  7. It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others.

  8. Never put both feet in your mouth at the same time, because then you won't have a leg to stand on.

  9. Nobody cares if you can't dance well. Just get up and dance.

  10. Since it's the early worm that gets eaten by the bird, sleep late.

  11. The second mouse gets the cheese.

  12. When everything's coming your way, you're in the wrong lane.

  13. Birthdays are good for you. The more you have, the longer you live.

  14. You may be only one person in the world, but you may also be the world to one person.

  15. We could learn a lot from crayons. Some are sharp, some are pretty and some are dull. Some have weird names, and all are different colors, but they all have to live in the same box.

  16. A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour.

Reflecting upon this reading, I guess it would not be too bad to take a reprieve every now and then from studying, if I can find the time to do so. For anyone out there who is interested in a PDF version of this, here it is (let me know if the link no longer works). How do you manage stress?

On a side note, I enjoyed my hospice out rotation and cannot wait to learn more about hospice nursing out in the real world.
- Nicole 


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