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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5810
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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I'm a 63yr old widowed registered nurse who is greatly

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I'm a 63yr old widowed registered nurse who is greatly concerned with the patients and staff I supervise. I recently got an excellent evaluation, but sometimes feel overwhelmed in my personal life.My family lives 4 hours away and sometimes I feel overwhelmed by everything I have to handle alone at home. Is this normal or am I just being too hard on myself?

Hi, I'd like to help you with your question.

It is not unusual to feel overwhelmed and lonely when you live far from family. Your job as a nurse is overwhelming in nature, even if you had family to rely on. You are responsible for people's lives and as a supervisor, you are responsible for your staff and their actions as well. That is a lot to deal with.

Having lots of friends is wonderful and I'm glad to hear you have people to spend time with. It also sounds like you are very involved socially with groups and hobbies. That is an excellent balance and shows you know how to handle living independently very well. However, there is no substitute for family. They know you best and they are the people you can truly let you hair down with because they have always been there and because as part of a family, you are in a group that will never leave you or change. It is that belonging that often helps people survive through life.

Remember, although distance keeps you from seeing your family as often as you wish, you are still part of that group. You belong. That feeling alone can help add balance to your life.

Is there a way for you to visit family more often? I understand that nurse's schedules are crazy (I'm related to a nurse) but if you could slip away for even a day or two, it might help you feel less overwhelmed.

Can you also have family at your place more often? Even if you have to work during the day, coming home to family would help you.

Can you hire help in your home? Having someone to do things for you may lessen the load and help you feel less overwhelmed.

Overall, it does sound like you are handling your life very well. Addressing your feelings in small ways should help you feel less alone and take some of the burden off. But if it does not, you may want to consider a larger change, such as moving closer to family or changing jobs. Keep it in mind if you feel the small changes do not help.

I hope this has helped you,

TherapistMarryAnn and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you

Yes, I do believe you could be suffering from burnout. It is a very common problem in the nursing field because of the level of giving that is involved and the type of schedule a nurse must keep. Time for recharging and personal time are quite rare.

In the case of burnout, it is important that you use as much personal time as you can to rest and recharge. Doing things like taking a short vacation (even a day helps), talking to friends and family, and taking time to reflect helps. Even a day at the spa can make a world of difference. As long as you aren't doing something that is related to your job, it should help you feel better.


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