I started the year excited to blog about my journey of overcoming anxiety. Not every day has been successful, but identifying my anxiety before my head starts spinning has been a win. I more quickly recognize my fears.
One of the exciting aspects of this 2020 year was the expansion of my world. I have been in health care for the past 16 years. I have learned about burn-out and resilience in my work as a pediatric ICU nurse. I have lead trainings on self-care and created guided journaling for colleagues. I am passionate about resilience. As I have been more involved at my girls’ school and stretching myself to understand more about my community and our nation’s politic, I have realized the topic of burn-out has become a part of every industry. There is work-trauma and added stressors, especially in a year of a pandemic, which can capsize any individual.
Mental health needs are increasing. We as a society seem to be are talking about anxiety, stress and loneliness more often. We may feel alone in our stress, but the data of increases in anxiety say otherwise. (We will talk about the data soon.) We are not alone in the experience stress has on our minds and our bodies.
This year the stress factor for most of us has elevated and stayed elevated. Generally, before 2020, I would guess that the pattern for most individuals is when stress elevates we adapt for the short time stress exists and then we recover. This is the model which works under the fight or flight mechanism we innately have in our brains. Normally, this mechanism only needs to sustain for a short period of time before we return to a normal state of peace and rest for our minds and body. This year, however, the pandemic stress hasn’t gone away.
The stress from 2020 continues and it’s possible we have experienced stress upon stress. For a lot of us we haven’t returned to a normal state of peace. If we don’t find a new “normal” for our mind and body, we will stay at a high level of stress. This is unsustainable and opens the door for burn-out to come into play.
In the midst of 2020 I have taken what my training around resilience and burn-out as a front line worker and applied it to stress around on-line learning for my girls, the disappointments as vacations were cancelled, and the drastic financial decreases in my business. I have pushed myself to grow and to find new normals in all these areas. I have more to go, but in 2021 I want to take you with me as I blog about burn-out, resiliency, stress reduction, and self-care. I want to help you grow in your response to gratitude and joy, two antidotes for burn-out.
Anxiety does not have to be our end story. We have the power to change how our minds work and we have an opportunity to get-up every morning to face the day. No matter where we work or what our situations are at home, we can work towards finding peace and decreasing stress for the betterment of our health and well-being.
I cannot wait to get started on this new goal of 2021. I wish you peace over this holiday season. Thank you for joining me on my journey around anxiety.
And it will be said; “Build up, build up, prepare the road! Remove the obstacles out of the way of my people.”