What is An Overworked Nurse to Do? Overcoming Burnout and Vicarious Trauma

Shows a nurse putting her head in her hands. Represents how a private pay therapist in orange county ca can work with a nurses schedule to provide mental health care and support.

Nursing is a demanding profession. As a nurse you are providing care for the people who need it most but at times, don’t receive the care you need. You can find yourself becoming burnt out and overwhelmed. Not only with the sheer amount of work, patients, and stress that comes with the job, but also with the vicarious trauma that you experience.

Taking the time to make choices that will support your well-being is essential to maintaining the balance you need. Whether that is implementing more self-care into your life or choosing early morning therapy sessions, it is important to give yourself the chance to be heard and understood. In this blog, we will discuss some of the ways you can combat burnout and vicarious trauma.

Consider The Source Of Your Burnout

Shows a nurse slumped down on the floor. Represents how an emdr therapist in tustin, ca can help nurses process their vicarious trauma.

You may have read the headline and already had an answer pop up instantly or you may be struggling with recognizing the source of your burnout. Maybe you work somewhere were there is a lack of support, an environment of toxicity, and you feel like you are constantly being asked to do more with fewer resources. Or maybe, it isn’t your workplace that is causing the burnout but rather the sheer amount of responsibility and stress that comes with the job.

Knowing where the burnout is coming from is important because then you can take a step back and think of what to do. For a job that is toxic and lacks support, it might be time to start looking for a new job. You may love your patients and want to help them, but it isn’t worth sacrificing your overall mental health.

You Will Not Be Able To Help Anyone If You Are On The Brink Of Burnout.

For jobs that cause burnout due to their high stress and responsibility, it is important to take the time to practice self-care. You are constantly giving to others. From your time, your energy, and especially your emotions. Taking the time to make sure you are refilling these resources is important as you cannot pour from an empty cup.

Make Time For Yourself

You’re a nurse, a caregiver, and someone who is constantly doing for others. You’re amazing and not many people could do what you do. However, you also need to take time to take care of yourself and give yourself the space and permission to do so. Making time for yourself isn’t selfish, it’s necessary! Making time before, after, and even during your break on shift (if you get one) to relax and take care of yourself is essential.

This may seem overwhelming at the start as you are used to taking care of others versus being kind to yourself. But it doesn’t have to be hard or complicated. It can simply mean taking a few minutes out of your day for reading your favorite book, getting a massage (we know those feet work hard!), taking a few breaths (in through your nose and out through your mouth) to recenter yourself, or treating yourself to some delicious food.

You Need to Process Your Feelings

Shows two medical professionals talking. Represents how an online therapist in orange county, ca might recommend talking to a colleague that understands your struggles.

This may not seem like a priority to someone who sits bedside of patients day after day. However, processing your feelings and thoughts is essential to maintaining your mental health in an already stressful job. When you witness vicarious trauma day after day or due to having a stressful and overwhelming job, taking the time to process your feelings and thoughts is important.

There are many ways you can do this. You can journal your feelings so that you can write it all down to get them out then read over them to gain a better understanding. Talking to fellow nurses can be beneficial as they will understand what you are going through and can even provide coping mechanisms.

Therapy is Also a Great Outlet For Processing Your Feelings.

As someone in the health professions, you know working with a professional can go a long way. When working with a therapist, you not only have someone who can help you process your feelings but can give you support. A therapist will be able to support you through your burnout, processing vicarious trauma, and deciding if your workplace is somewhere you should stay or if it is time to make a change.

Plus, a private pay therapist in Orange County, CA will be able to be flexible with you as your schedule changes due to your job. You worked an overnight and need to unload? Make a morning appointment to let it out. Had a really rough day shift where you felt like a one-nurse circus? Make an evening appointment to talk it out. A therapist will be there to support you and give you the care that you deserve.

Unplug and Spend Time With Your Loved Ones

Shows a group of friends taking a picture. Represents how a private pay therapist in orange county ca may suggest spending time with friends and unplugging from devices.

It is easy to become overwhelmed by the work and feel like you are always on call. Unplugging from all your devices or even just your phone and spending quality time with your loved ones will go a long way. It is still possible to be connected to the world while not being constantly glued to your phone anticipating a call on your day off. Set a certain time slot to check your emails, calls, and messages so that you can enjoy the time with your friends and family without having to worry about all of those other things.

Spending time with loved ones can help make you feel loved and supported. These are the people who care and love you and can help hold you up during the difficult times. Just as you do for your patients, let the people in your life help you out and show them how much they mean to you. Go to brunch with your friends, have a movie night with your family, or just go for a walk to appreciate nature. Doing any of these things can help you recharge and make you feel like a human again.

Overcome Your Burnout With an Online Therapist in Orange County, CA

Nurses can only give so much before they need to recharge. Burnout can be difficult to manage if you’re not taking the time to take care of yourself. You need to know that it is okay to take a break and make yourself the priority once in a while. At Moxie Family Therapy, we will work with you and your ever-changing schedule to make sure that you are taken care of. Our team of compassionate therapists are here to provide you with the support, guidance, and tools to overcome your burnout and vicarious trauma. Whether that is by working with an EMDR therapist in tustin, ca or an online therapist in orange county, ca we are here to make sure you get the care that you need. To start your therapy journey at Moxie Family Therapy, please follow these simple steps:

  • Contact Moxie Family Therapy
  • Meet with a caring therapist
  • Begin taking time for yourself and processing your feelings!

Other Therapy Services Offered at Moxie Family Therapy

At Moxie Family Therapy, we know you may need more services to address your burnout and vicarious trauma you’ve experienced. This is why our therapists at Moxie Family Therapy offer a variety of therapy services so you can process and overcome your burnout and vicarious trauma in the best way for you. We provide a variety of therapy services online and in-person at our Orange County, CA-based practice. Our therapists offer counseling for childrenwomen, teens, young adults and couples. Also, we offer anxiety treatment, trauma therapy , counseling for adoptionart therapy, play therapy, therapy for therapists, and clinical supervision. Our team is also happy to support the LGBTQIA+ community. Contact us today and we will support you on your journey to reclaiming your moxie.

About the Author

Shows Melissa Mellon a therapist and owner of Moxie Family Therapy. Represents how a private pay therapist in orange county ca can support you.

Meet Melissa Mellon, LMFT, a compassionate therapist in Orange County, CA, specializing in supporting nurses experiencing burnout and vicarious trauma. Melissa creates a safe and nurturing space where nurses can explore their emotions, regain resilience, and rebuild their sense of self. With expertise in trauma and family dynamics, she helps nurses navigate the complexities of their profession and incorporates therapeutic techniques like art therapy. Melissa understands the importance of self-care and guides nurses in incorporating it into their lives. Schedule a consultation with Melissa to embark on a transformative journey of healing, self-discovery, and finding joy in your nursing career.

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