Healthy relationships outside of work are a vital element of health and overall wellbeing. There are compelling shreds of evidence that having a positive relationship with family and friends leads to a happy and fulfilled life. But for people who hold high-stress jobs such as nursing assistants, it’s not as easy as it sounds.
Such as the case of Emma, a CNA who’s been on the job for almost a year. Emma is having a hard time shaking off job-related stress. At work, she cares for 15 dependent nursing home residents. Recently, she finds herself on her supervisor’s ‘watchlist' and the negative attention she got from her superior has drained her emotionally.
At the end of her shift, Emma goes home exhausted, depressed, and irritable. Her husband and children reach out to her and try to support her, but she sulks and becomes uncommunicative.
Emma is just one of the many nursing assistants who have a high risk for burnout. CNAs are highly vulnerable to the stresses brought about by the job. Burnout has numerous negative effects, one of which is strained personal relationships.
If you find yourself in the same spot as Emma, here’s what you can do to keep your loved ones close to your heart:
1. Leave your job-related problems at work.
When you deal with a lot of pressure at your workplace, it is often tough to go home to your family with a clear mind and a positive vibe. Most of the time, there is a spillover of your stressful day to your personal life.
Bad workdays do result in bad personal relationships! But you know what? One of the best (and difficult!) ways to avoid spreading the tension is to consciously take your mind off your worries on your way home and then prepare mentally to focus on your family. It takes a lot of practice to do this, but it is certainly doable.
You can tell your family and friends how you feel but limit what information to share with them. Constant stress talk drags your loved ones into your pool of misery. In the long run, everyone around you will experience the same stress. And we all know how this will usually turn out: ruined relationships.
Keep in mind that people typically avoid being overwhelmed with the problems of others as they already are dealing with challenges of their own.
2. Cut your problems from their source.
Unless you address the root cause of your problems at work, you'll likely take them home with you or bring them to your social circle. Go over your tasks mentally and find creative ways to manage your time more efficiently. Also, look into teamwork as a possible solution.
3. Maintain the emotional connection, especially with your spouse or partner.
Stress sometimes can get the better of you. You tend to shun others away and self-destruct with repeated thoughts of failures. Your suffering could unintentionally break the emotional connection between you and your loved one.
Your partner may also become distant as a way to cope with the strain. To prevent this consequence, remind yourself that the relationship is not just about you. Get involved with what’s happening to your partner. Show interest in what's going on with their everyday life. Thank them for being there and for everything else. Also, do not make them feel responsible for your misery.
4. Keep communication lines open.
Communication should be two-way. There must be time for you to listen and understand, too. Be specific with your needs and avoid making them guess how you feel. Avoid passing judgment.
When you deal with relationship issues, focus on your feelings rather than zeroing in on your partner's mistakes. Say, "I felt ignored when you keep telling me we'll talk later," rather than saying, "You always ignore me and make me feel miserable."
5. Spend quality time with your family and friends.
The world as we know it today makes it more difficult to gather as a group and share wonderful memories.
Commit to spending a great time with your loved ones regularly. Put aside your phones when you’re together and be there in that moment. Find something fun to do - a picnic, a walk in the park, a movie at home… whatever activity that can bring you closer.
Spending quality time with others also helps you unwind and recharge.
6. Invest in healthy stress-busters.
There are many ways to de-stress healthily, and you can spend time and money on these activities to help you cope. You can do this with your family and friends, too, to make the activities more purposeful. You can try hitting the gym together. Reward yourself with your favorite dessert. Work on a hobby.
For as long as you are working as a CNA, your job would most likely be demanding. Keeping your family and friends close will probably be challenging, too. But by looking after yourself and giving time and proper attention to your loved ones, you can achieve a healthy work-life balance and cherish personal relationships as well.
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