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Posts Tagged ‘communication’

Stress is going to be a theme for the next 20 months as I go through my Nursing School Program.  I realize that, and am prepared for that.  Some tools I have for managing my stress are:

  • This blog — blogging for me is a place to reflect on my life, my experiences and to process what’s going on in my world.  It’s a tool I’ve been using, it’s a place that I hope provides my readers with stories and insights into my world. A place that I hope provides others food for thought as they too seek to live their lives well.

  • Exercise — exercise is a key stress management tool for me.  It’s helpful that I know that when I’m working out regularly I’m generally healthier, better able to function in my stress.  But, the challenge I have is balancing everything. In past degrees I’ve fallen victim to the panic that if I’m not studying every second I’m going to do poorly.  This degree I’m NOT going to let that happen because I do not want to gain the ‘Freshman 15’.  So what tool am I using to make sure that I don’t fall off the running wagon (at the very least)? Train for races. I’ve been training for a marathon with the specific intent to keep running goals as a priority.

  • Friends — I have some friends on campus — close long time friends — so getting together with them for lunch occasionally really helps. Also another friend is a nurse and is also in school again so she’s a great resource and it is great to have her ‘in the trenches’ with me.

So what are some stresses that are coming up for me now? There’s nothing particularly that is causing me acute stress right now, but there are many little things that I’m sorting out and such.  So there are things that causing me the beginnings of stress and I’m working through them right now and I don’t yet have all the solutions to the concerns

  • Financial — I have a bit of a student loan but got no where near sufficient money to cover costs of living etc. I’m still working at my job, and am trying to stay, BUT, it wont cover living costs even remotely.  So I’m going to work on this a bit more this weekend so that I can at least have a plan in place.  I am trying not to stress about generating debt because I know that the current canadian pay rates for nurses — even if I’m at the lowest level and don’t work any overtime — means I will be okay once I’m done (assuming the fraser health authority restructuring doesn’t spread).  But, given my ‘hate debt’ sensibilities, it’s tough. Given my life dreams. It’s tough.  It’s also easy for me to fall into the pressure of not having a life to save money, but I don’t want to regret this time, I don’t want to hate my time in nursing school — I want happiness and amazing memories. Both in school and out.  So I will travel, visit those I want to visit (like going back to New Mexico), and enjoy my life to the best of my ability.

  • School — I haven’t yet figured out the tools I need to keep up with the work and to really learn the work.  I have to learn them quickly because my first final is on October 9th.  Yes, OCTOBER 9th.  So this means that keeping my job is stressful (yet not keeping my job is also stressful) because it’s a lot of hours that I could read (that being said, I took tonight off — was wiped out) and study.  How to balance everything is a learning process in itself, and it will come. The one benefit is that at least the material isn’t difficult, there’s just a lot of material to learn.

  • Personal life — the stresses in my personal life relating to family — that led to much reflection, counseling and processing last year are still on going. They’re under control because I have boundaries in place to protect myself.  One thing we’ve been talking about in school is connection and support networks.  This is an area of stress because I sometimes wonder if I have a good support network.  The challenges I’ve faced this past year or so have meant that I’m careful about who I lean on very much for support.  And as time goes on I really will need the support so I need to work on trusting those who could give me support, and not putting on a mask of ‘everything’s okay’ just because other people have betrayed my trust in the past.

  • Relationships — this both amuses me (as I watch the young girls in the program flirt with the few young single guys in the program) and makes me sad.  I guess this is somewhat connection with my personal life comments above — a lot of students in the program who are my age are married, often with kids. I’m comfortable in my situation because they all have to balance much more complex lives than I do.  But, the type of support that they have available is something I miss.  But, I need to relax on this and not start stressing because, really, I’ve been accepting that there are few men in this city who capture my interest (now if we talk about outside this city, that’s different — but that’s a different topic). Also, if there were someone here with me I would need to split my time more.  So I’m okay with where I’m at, on the whole, but due to ‘distractions’ in my life there are certain things that have the potential of stressing me out.

BUT all these things (except financial — that is more of a present concern) are things that have the potential to stress me out if I’m not careful.  So I’m trying not to let myself focus on them and instead I’m trying to do what I need to on any given day — such as this week I’m tired at the end of it, so I took the evening off last night and did nothing productive.

The rest of this weekend will be cleaning, planning (to reduce some of the stress I’m facing), and studying.  I’ll try the ‘timer method’ to attempt to get everything done. And now, since I’ve done little this weekend so far (except call a couple of banks, cell phone company etc — all important too) it’s time to start reading for next week.

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When there is something to say to someone I find it difficult to be open. I’m very communicative, and am a very verbal person, but when I have to have a conversation that is not easy or may hurt someone I find it difficult to say what it is I have to say. It’s partly a self protection mechanism. I know I don’t like being vulnerable. I guess in my past I’ve had situations that make it difficult for me to be vulnerable.  When I need to share that I’m angry or hurt, I will share. But it sometimes takes time. Sometimes I need to take the time because I need to think about it.  I need to take the time to make sure it’s something ‘real’ and not just me being hormonal, or emotional.  Sometimes it takes a few days.  And sometimes I decide not to share. Like the situation where I’ve lost a valued friend.

I’ve stopped talking to most people about that. Certain friends, yes. But now it’s time not to share. Move on and just live. I don’t want to talk, don’t need to talk. Most of the time. But when I do I will talk.  I also have decided not to share what needs to be done to get my friendship back. This is one thing some may say I should. That it’s good communication. And it is. But the reality is, I don’t have the wherewithall to teach. I don’t want to teach. The basic ability to show someone that you value them, even at the most basic level shouldn’t be something that I need to outline in detail. So, I don’t share and I’m moving on and dealing with the loss of friendship.  And then the phone rings.

But there is other sharing that I’m thinking about. This sharing I need to do. And in this case it’s not about it being painful or upsetting for me, just that it’s sharing that I have to do with two people. I know I have to share some things that are on my mind, and I’m worried I’ll make things difficult for them, hurt them or make them concerned about things. And it’s nothing like that, it’s not meant to hurt or be painful for them. Yet I’m also concerned that if I don’t share it soon, that will also hurt them. It’s a dilema and I haven’t been sure how to resolve it. But it needs to be soon.

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Have you ever had that gut feeling that you’ve somehow offended someone? It’s a subtle thing, really, and it’s nothing overt.   But it’s a realization that invites that used to come my way no longer do, there’s a certain avoidance that seems to be present.

I’ve had that nagging feeling a little bit recently and haven’t been sure what’s been going on, but it seems weird and almost hard to put my finger on it.  I’ve noticed it a bit recently, I’d hear comments about things that are going on that, in the past, I’d be invited to, but not these days.   In the past, when I was particularly stressed out, I was overly sensitive to things like this. So I’d try to temper my concern with time. But right now, I’m not stressed. I’m not worried and I’m not unhappy. Yet that nagging feeling is there.

I also went through a number of stresses in the summer and was a bit of a basket case. Okay, so I felt like I was completely nuts at times.  There was that Canada Day stress, when I completely lost it due to lack of food. This person I’m thinking of, was there for that and since then has pretty much avoided me.

In my efforts to be direct, honest and clear I sent him a message. I let him know that I’d heard about Friday’s Halloween Party, and was asked by a friend tonight if I was going (who was invited). I’d discovered that I wasn’t invited (the event is ‘secret’). I outlined that I had had a stressful summer due to family crises and that if in that time I’d accidentally offended him, I was sorry.  I didn’t ask for an invite, but I did try to be honest because I don’t want to offend anyone.

I haven’t heard back yet, and I’m not sure what I’ll do for Friday night. I have another invite to join a friend and her friend’s annual party. But, I’d rather be with a bunch of my friends.  For now though I’m going to log off so that I can get some sleep, for once.

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