Shaking off a tough day

Sometimes it takes more than a few minutes, hours, or even days to shake off a tough day. I wish I could shrug it off like a coat but sometimes the tough days cling more voraciously than underwear to a yoga towel after doing laundry (IYKYK).

When in PA school I used to just lay in my bed in darkness and let it wash over me. While this wasn’t entirely helpful, I have a lot of compassion for that slightly younger version of me for just desperately trying to get through it. Now I try a few more adaptive techniques to try to complete a stress cycle and reset my nervous system.

Here’s a running list. For more detail, check out this post.

  • One thing I like to do quick and in the moment is this little number: jump up and down for 30 seconds, hands on heart, a few rounds of 4-7-8 breathing.
  • This is helpful because I like to visualize the stress moving out of my body in the form of water. AND it activates the vagus nerve! There is literally neurobiology to crying. increasing vagal tone activates the parasympathetic nervous system which can help you relax faster after stress. Also bonus points to film yourself crying. It’s usually so ridiculous looking that it automatically induces a laugh (laughing = also vagal nerve stimulation)
  • Tidy up my apartment a bit. Existing in an organized space often enables me to tidy up my thought process and think more critically about WHY something is sitting with me longer than typical.
  • Showering: Sometimes there’s nothing that helps quite like a hot shower after a long hard day. I’ll stay in a bit longer and visualize stress dripping off me like water off my fingertips. (other times just laying on the shower ground and crying)
  • Reading something completely unrelated to my field of work. I love having an escape into a different reality, if only for a few chapters. Oftentimes this adds a bit of perspective, too.
  • Removing overstimulation: dimming lights, turning off electronics, turning volumes down, putting on comfy clothes can allow a little extra physical lightness to process things that are heavy.
  • Having an album in my phone of things that I KNOW will make me laugh and revisiting them.
  • Talking to / seeing a loved one, friend or coworker about what happened to help process.
  • Therapy!!
  • Taking a walk. I like to pair movement to music and it is really helpful to process hard things. I’ll envision what it is I’m struggling with and picture myself literally walking through it.
  • Anything to engage the senses: placing something cold on my chest, using a weighted blanket, lighting a candle/incense, putting on classical music – anything to get me out of my head and back into my body.
  • Writing things down. Always helps me process in the moment.

Here are your submissions!

  • crying walk
  • hug my dogs
  • CBD tincture or THC gummy
  • go for a run
  • re-read old reference / recommendation letters if you have them
  • reading, yoga, journaling, a walk
  • taking a conscious shower / washing off, shaking it out, writing or processing with someone
  • spend time with a pet
  • journal to get it out, then trash tv or a book and early to bed
  • THC gummy and SVU in bed cuddling my dog
  • talk it out with friends, colleagues and parents
  • yoga meditation
  • reading a nice book for pleasure!
  • hot shower/anything to “transition” from work to home, setting person al boundaries!
  • I visualize putting my thoughts about it outside my front door. Kinda odd, but gives me space!
  • Tell my dog about it while petting her.
  • Talk it out with a friend or colleague.
  • Usually go to is reflective journal, get every rumination written down and out my head.
  • Good cry in the shower and a glass of wine.
  • 10 minutes of mantra breathing
  • Immediately change from work clothes to home clothes
  • Crossword puzzles
  • Exercise or watch a feel good TV show
  • movement
  • Long walk, cry, and listen to Taylor swift
  • Bake cookies
  • In order: cry, pray, go for a walk or stretch, verbalize truth of my scenario/my rule, cry again
  • Write/draw it out!
  • Talking to my family or therapist
  • Listen to frequency music and journal it out.
  • Cry in the shower and HappyNotPerfect app.
  • I play with my kids and that always helps.
  • Talk with a colleague/mentor, go for a walk without music to think, bath, call mom.
  • 10% happier app
  • Walking and listening to a comedian/funny podcast.
  • Repeat to myself: this pain/sorry/discomfort is temporary and call someone who KNOWS me
  • Sit in a bath and let myself be upset in there – literally soak in it for a moment and let it go.
  • Watching a comfort show!
  • Writing it down that night and processing later when I have a little more bandwidth.
  • Therapy and journaling!
  • Cry. Talk it out with someone willing to listen (being mindful of privacy of course).
  • Walk with music
  • I think of my compassion as an asset! It’s amazing and admirable to feel so strongly for patients.
  • I take a cold shower after work to “wash off energy”
  • Shower, music, candles, or dancing and singing
  • Taking a walk, thinking about it, concluding on it, and putting it away by the end of the walk.
  • I acknowledge feelings of sadness or stress re: patients and allows myself to think happy stuff.
  • Water! A cry, a shower or a walk by a lake/river.
  • 1. Cry 2. Walks 3. Yoga/meditation
  • Cry, doodle, discuss appropriately with colleagues
  • Run until you’re tired enough your brain shuts off
  • Talking it through with my mom or partner. They make me feel grounded/better
  • Talk it out with a friend at my same stage and then enjoy a glass of wine.
  • I try to do something at work to symbolically put away or put it out of my mind. Something as simple as clicking to the next day in epic before logging out or putting away my notebook to symbolize finishing the thought.
  • Process root of where feeling is coming from, cry on the drive home, mindfully cook/read.
  • Take a walk, do yoga, make a homemade meal, call a family member or friend.
  • Move a muscle, change a thought.
  • Cry when you feel it!
  • Write it out and/or talk to someone about it (even if it’s talking to yourself)
  • Take space to honor the work I did and list the things that went well.
  • Moving my body, slowing down and allowing time to process and acknowledge it.

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