Things I am doing to improve my mental health during a sh*tty job transition
I'll start with this: I am no psychology specialist and I am not saying that these tips will help EVERYONE. I want to share some things that I have been doing to keep my mental health up while going through a horrible job transition in hopes that someone will find them just as helpful and begin to feel like their best self again!
Here's a little background info. I am an Occupational Therapy Assistant and have worked at a skilled nursing facility for about a year and a half. The building that I was at was horrible from the innappropriately selected patients to the lack of communication to snobby Nurses to lack of care from CNAs. That was the most draining and mentally exhausting jobs that I have ever done and I had to get out. I am just not the kind of person that can work in an environment where no matter what I do, nothing is changed and better. Well, I thought I got lucky with a pediatric position that I received. I let the new company know that I would be going down to PRN at the other facility mid-November and that was "perfect" for them. Mid-November rolls around and it's time for me to resign full time and move to PRN. A week goes by and I am having no hours with the new job. Three weeks go by... two hours come up... then three more... and then that was it! I wasn't made aware that the person I replaced went against policy and took all of the kiddos with her to a different company leaving me with no hours! So for the past two months, I have been trying to do what I can to not only make money for bills, but also make sure that I don't have a mental breakdown until this new job builds to a full time job!
When I say adulting stress is no joke...
I've found a few things that have been helpful to keeping my mental health up and to keep from slipping into a risk of depression!
Before I get into this, I understand that everyone goes through things that range from terrifying to 'ehh not that bad'. I am not in anyway trying to say that anything you are going through is not a big deal and can be easily fixed. Changing your mind set is not an easy job! It takes practice.. and sometimes can be tiring.. but it can help make a situation even the tiniest bit better!
-When you start to get in that funk... find three blessings that you have in your life. My three go-to blessings are (how typical...) my boyfriend, my furbabies, and my family. Even when it gets to the point where you think that you have nothing to be thankful for, dig deep. Go deep. You're ALIVE. There are things happening to people all around the world that is more than likely worse. Think of the fact that you were able to get Chick Fil A yesterday. Think of the fact that you were able to wake up at 7am instead of hitting snooze ten billion times. Or the fact that you managed to drop your kids off at school without forgetting their lunches. Anything that makes you feel good or feels like an accomplishment!
-Try a new yoga technique. I started with practicing Nauli breathing and then got back into practicing yoga and boy does it help. I went to a $6 yoga class the other day and literally cried in the beginning because of how good it felt to just breathe and let go of what had been happening. There are plenty of videos on youtube (I eventually plan on putting up a channel) that range from beginner to advance. Just give it a try!
-Listen to music. When you're cleaning or just at the house, put on some music and dance it out! It is such a good distraction, too.
-Have a self-care night if you can. If you have epsom salts, essential oils, bubble bath, bath bombs, whatever it may be, add them to a warm bath. Light some candles. Put on a face mask. Read. Take care of yourself! This doesn't have to just be for my ladies out there. Men, there's nothing wrong with a little self-care!
-Try to take a positive thing from every bad situation. For example, I decided to keep thinking "at least I was able to start the job off slow so I can get used to the transition from geriatrics to pediatrics" instead of obsessing over how much stress and trouble basically being jobless has all put me through.
-Have game nights with friends if you have the time. It is such a great distraction from reality that is sometimes needed. I am not usually the type to say turn to electronics... but a nice game of mario cart or mario party has definitely saved my mood!
-If you have a significant other, your bestfriend, or your family around, ask them for a hug. Get and give a long hug to someone you care about. "But what if I don't have anybody?" Find a jacket or a stuffed animal or a pillow and squeeze the sh*t out of it! There's nothing wrong with that! Deep pressure can be very relaxing (unless you have some sesory awareness issues and are sensitive to pressure) whether it's through a hug or even a weighted blanket.
-Stay organized!! I feel so much better when I have bill dates written down and to-do lists to mark off in my planner. It helps me to get out of my head and back into reality in a productive way. Yes, I have talked a lot about distracting yourself... but YOU DON'T WANT TO OVER-DISTRACT (is that a word??) YOURSELF to where you get behind on things! Doing that can get you too far into your head and make it hard to get back to reality where, unfortunately, we do need to be.
-Clean! Cleaning and making things neat can be very refreshing and decrease stress.
-Take your dog on a walk or sign up for something like Rover to play or take walks with dogs! Pets are so relaxing and so are walks!
-Open your curtains and add in some light! This is so important and some people don't even think of it. Being in the dark is not going to help your situation. Even if you feel exhausted, you can lay down and watch a movie.. but still get in some light! This also goes along with getting outside for some fresh air.
-If you happen to have some or can find some on a budget, essential oils and diffusers are amazing. There's so many fragrances for things to uplift, decrease tension, relax, cleanse, etc. I really have noticed a difference!
-Read! Reading can be so relaxing and it is definitely beneficial no matter what you are doing it for.
-Last thing that I want to add. Turn back to religion if you have drifted away. Read your holy book and worship who you believe in!
I really hope that I have been able to reach someone that can benefit from doing any of these things!
R E M E M B E R ! ! !
Nothing HAS to be permanent. There are so many resources out there to help, it just all depends on if you are willing to put forth the effort! YOU are one of the only ones that can help yourself and let me tell you, taking control of my mindset and changing it to a more positive one has been one of the best things I have done for my mental health!