We just finished with the month of April, which might have felt like one of the longest months of the year. Many nurses and healthcare professionals were placed on the front lines, battling something that we have never dealt with before – a global pandemic. And while some healthcare professionals battled this pandemic from ground zero, others might have battled the crumbling economy with shorter hours, pay decreases and possibly been furloughed for some amount of time. With all these different scenarios adding up, you may want to take a moment to reflect on yourself, and then turn to your coworker, family member or friend and let them know how you are feeling.
So, ask yourself – how are you feeling? During this time of crisis, it’s perfectly normal to feel completely worn-out, overwhelmed, stressed, alone or even depressed. However, how you deal with or react to these intense emotions can make a big difference. In this blog, we are going to first talk about how you might be feeling, how to spot indicators of troubled emotions that might need to be more thoroughly inspected and how you can cope with your emotions in a more healthy and beneficial way to keep things going a little more smoothly in your life.
In a world where we are constantly working to put food on the table, helping our families and friends stay healthy, and on top of that, trying to make time for ourselves, life can be tough and overwhelming. Sometimes it can be hard to stop the clock for a second and reflect on how you are feeling, or maybe even notice how your coworker is feeling. In order for business to continue on as usual, you may need to confront these feelings, such as depression or loneliness, so that you can adjust and deal with them appropriately.
So, what are some negative emotions that you might feel? Psychologists have narrowed these negative emotions into a few common types: Anger, annoyance, fear, anxiety, sadness, guilt, apathy and despair.
While it is common to feel these different, negative emotions every once in a while, it can become a problem when you begin to dwell on them too much and they start to interfere with accomplishing your daily tasks, taking a toll on your mental and physical well being. Research has shown that this constant negative emotion has been linked to harmful coping behaviors, such as overeating, smoking and alcohol consumption, as well as physical problems including insomnia, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and clinical anxiety and depression.
Working in a chaotic, stressful environment can also lead someone to encountering post-traumatic stress disorder, otherwise known as PTSD. Especially during times like what we are dealing with today, many nurses and medical professionals are witnessing first-hand some of the more traumatic side to the global pandemic, such as having a high death toll rate, telling families and friends about the loss of a loved one, or possibly dealing with harsh, cramped work environments. All of these situations would be hard for anyone to endure, and could leave any normal human being feeling down or depressed for a period of time – or worse – could leave someone with PTSD, where you will need to seek professional help to overcome it.
One of the more common side effects of long-lasting negative emotions could be severe, clinical depression, which is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. If you, or anyone that you know, is experiencing these signs or symptoms, you should try to seek help from a medical professional:
With everything going on during a normal shift in the medical industry, sometimes it can be tough not to dwell on the negative or get easily stressed or irritated and accidentally take it out on a coworker, or worse, a patient. That’s why it’s important to rein in your emotions and keep them in check while on the clock, as well as at home.
Here are a few different ways to cope with your emotions in a healthy way, according to research from a psychologist and relationship expert:
While having negative emotions aren’t always a bad thing, when left unchecked they can begin to take over, and possibly lead to a negative way of life. So, while it may seem like the world is trying to bring you down, just know that you’re not alone. Know that others out there are feeling just as exhausted and beat down as you are, and know that you can do something about it.