Working Full Time Again and Relishing It

I have recently returned to full-time nursing work and I am loving it. It’s been some time since I have worked full-time, and really, I never thought I would do it… ever again.

About 3 years into my nursing career I was finding it all a bit overwhelming so I began to cut my hours down. Over the years this drizzled down to only a few shifts a fortnight and even then I still thought that it was too much.

But I had to pay the bills, so I worked only as much as I had to: the result being that I financially struggled through life. But I was willing to put up with that, so long as I didn’t have to work too much.

Nursing, I believed, should only ever be part-time work, especially for those of us who worked shift work. I thought that I could reduce the toll on my body caring for sick people at all hours if I only worked part-time – I would reduce my chances of becoming overrun by the increasing stressors of work.

What I found was that no matter how many hours I worked I would still feel overrun by work stress.

I was not escaping it, no matter how little I worked: and because I wasn’t escaping it I needed larger amounts of time away from work. Even when I did have a week off work, I would be back feeling like I needed another week off during my first shift back. I’d notice this after having holidays too. Almost the moment I got back, I no longer felt like I had just had a break.

I did have a brief stint of full-time work about 10 years ago, but was constantly tired – I didn’t want to be there and I was allowing myself to be affected by what was going on in the workplace.

This lasted about 12 months before I began to reduce my hours again.

Having worked with many nurses over the years, I know that what I was feeling is a common experience amongst other nurses. It is common for a nurse to reduce his or her hours the longer they spend in nursing, unless they couldn’t due to financial reasons.

Even if they ‘have to’ work longer hours, there is very often the desire to reduce the amount of hours that are worked and often they long for that day, or long for retirement.

Over the last 5 years, with the support of Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine, I have been gradually increasing not only my hours of work, but my level of responsibility.

Over the last 12 months I could feel that I was ready to go back to full-time work. As I sat with this I could feel how important it was to acknowledge and appreciate myself, the choices I am now making and how the way I care and nurture myself has supported me in such a way that I am now back in full-time work again, and I’m loving it.

What I was feeling and observing in my body was key to the choices I was making. These examples stood out initially as I was learning to listen and take note of what my body was saying.

I always felt particularly exhausted after working a morning shift. I would get home and lay on the lounge, fall asleep, wake up for dinner and then fall asleep on the lounge again to wake up and to go to bed.

With this I did two things. I began to go for a walk after work as well as put myself to bed when I felt tired, which was often before 9pm.

The key here is how I went for a walk and how I went to bed. When I walked, I walked in a way that was how my body wanted to walk.

If I felt vital I would walk with more of a pace. If I was feeling tired and tender I would walk with more delicacy. Going to bed began about 6pm when my focus became about winding down from my day and not getting hooked into activities that were too stimulating, such as watching TV.

I also observed that when I watched TV I could easily ignore those tired signals, whereas when I do not watch TV, I more easily check into what my body is saying, and honour it.

This can be challenging when at work, but I just acknowledged what my body was feeling and worked in a way where I did not push myself. Within a short period of time I was no longer tired after work and had plenty of energy to complete my days, even if I was working late.

I also stopped drinking coffee. A while ago I noted that whenever I did not have my daily coffee I had a two or three-day headache, and that was only after one coffee. But I continued to drink coffee as I thought it helped me get through my shifts, especially nightshift.

I began to wonder, that if coffee has this effect then it may not be so good for my body. What I found was that coupled with the above changes, I actually didn’t need coffee (or tea for that matter) to keep me awake or get me through a shift, and that my energy levels were consistent through my day, whatever shift I was working.

There was no perfection, as I did feel tired at times late in the evening or whenever I was on night shift.

Through this I have learnt (and am still learning) that my body is a wonderful teacher. It really does tell me everything I need to know and understand about how I am living, the choices that I am making, and that I can always make new choices that are more caring and supportive for myself and my body.

I am relishing the opportunity of being back in full-time work. Admittedly I am now no longer working shift work, but this was never about not working shift work for I would have still returned to full-time work, shift work or not.

There is definitely going to be a period of adjustment for my body, but I now know how to support and care myself in a way that will definitely support me to remain in full-time work for a long time to come.

I have an immense appreciation for Serge Benhayon and all that he presents and lives, which has been an endless source of inspiration to me.

What I have learned and observed I have been able to apply to my own life.

By Jennifer Smith, Registered Nurse, Australia

Further Reading:
Why work? What is work about?
Working for God not Self
Breaking the Consciousness of Working as a Cleaner
Work is medicine

767 thoughts on “Working Full Time Again and Relishing It

  1. I found your blog very inspiring Jennifer to continue listening to my body and deepen my exploration of self care. As you have shown, work does not need to be exhausting, in fact we can still feel vital each day after working full time through our own daily choices to self care.

  2. Just these days someone shared with me that doing anything that is not about people makes no sense, referring to having some days off and not really knowing what to do with their time besides the opportunity to take care of some chores and practical things. But to engage with hobbies, entertainment etc just to kill time was boring and made not much sense so that person was considering to even get another job or voluntary work. Working full time including taking care of family like parenting makes sense and it is for us to figure out doing it in a way that doesn´t exhaust but energizes us and besides good self-care it is knowing the purpose of why we are doing what we are doing.

  3. It is so powerful to feel how making a seemingly small change to something in our life can have a huge flow on affect in many areas, such as going to bed when tired and not keeping on going just because that is what we have always done, or because that is what people around us are doing.

  4. How often is it the things we consider to give us energy or ‘time for ourselves’ or life’s little pleasures that actually rob us of vitality and joy? We only find out when we assess and try something different.

  5. I love when we are honest about how we have been living, for such gold (awareness) comes from this…

  6. Stunning. I am so appreciative of the steps you offer here as examples of what you brought into your life in order to bring about that change. If we can bring those small changes in and then work on making them consistent through a dedication and commitment to self-care the potential is enormous for us.

  7. I can relate to what you’ve shared here Jennifer, I used to work as little as I could ‘get away with’, and was always pretty tired and drained. These days I work long hours and in some form or another spend the majority of every day doing some sort of work. My energy is better than it’s every been and I am more productive than l’ve ever been. I have since come to understand that we are built to work hard, not physically necessarily, but that idle-ness breeds lethargy, discontent and all manner of undesirable ill-effect.

  8. It is a great revelation offered here that it is not work that makes us tired. We don’t need to cut back on work, it is the habit of ignoring our body signals and the lack of looking after ourselves we need to change.

  9. This is such an inspiring sharing. Thank you, Jennifer. Caring for my body is something I am constantly needing to review and adjust, and what I am finding is that no amount of sleep or what seems to be good, nutritious food can compensate if there is no love in the way I hold and express myself.

  10. Re-acquainting ourselves with our body, listening and taking note of what it is communicating gives us a foundation from which to build a much deeper level of care for ourselves which can then support us to be able to care more for others. Thanks for writing about the changes you have made in your life Jennifer and how this has rippled out into changing the way you are at work too.

  11. We get hurt by our experiences of work and then we seek to escape it, making it all about ourselves rather than the bigger picture and the importance of us being there in full in the first place. This is the main problem in the world with our attitude towards work and life in general.

  12. Beautiful to read of the supportive changes you made to your lifestyle in order for you to have the energy to return to full time work again. Be great if these were included in a nurse’s training.

  13. So many people think that if they worked less that life would be wonderful but this is not the case at all. I have found that the more I work the more I genuinely enjoy working and the more that I am able to do. The truth of things is often much different than what we imagine in our heads.

  14. You are an inspiration Jen, when I see you, you are glowing and you light up the room. Amazing to hear a bit of your back story and what it was like for you previously and to now know where you are at today- this is very inspiring.

  15. It is pretty amazing to read how simple life-style changes can have such an affect on working life, making it more enjoyable and contributory to the greater whole of life for everyone.

  16. One of the most self-caring things that I have ever done is to have gone back to full-time work. I know that may sound contradictory but it isn’t. Working full-time is great and really supportive if we learn to look after ourselves while doing it.

    1. It does sound contradictory, but I have to agree with you Elizabeth. We are not exhausted because of our work, how we work and how we are at work absolutely affects us, as does what we take on from others during our day. But even more than this, not living who we are is what is exhausting us to to the bone.

  17. I can really relate to working part-time hours as this is all I thought I could manage once upon a time. But the truth is that my level of self-care and self-love could only support that amount of work. Things are now changing because I have a new appreciation for myself and how I wish to be in all that I do. Thanks Jennifer.

  18. Checking in with our body and observing what it is saying and honouring how we are feeling is the key to returning to our natural energy levels and building a strong foundation in caring for our body and making choices that fully support us.

    1. Yes, it’s when we override our body’s signals, numb ourselves with food or distract ourselves that we feel drained and exhausted at the end of the day

  19. One upon a time, not that long ago, I did not want to work. I was always looking for a way to work less (yet I always complained about not having any money!). I now work full time plus and I love it. There is so much there for me to give and I feel purpose strongly. When I was disengaged from work, I was in a huge amount of tension because of it. If we have a lot to give and we hold it back, it can be quite an uncomfortable process.

  20. The quality with which we do things is so important. The more I learn to ‘be’ me first, before I ‘do’ anything, the more energy I have to complete necessary tasks. We can find purpose in anything we do when we put the innermost as a priority.

  21. It is real fun and a delight to live and work with the body in a way that truly supports it, and as you show the true and full potential of our bodies are immense.

  22. So great to read this sharing and observe how we can totally change our approach to work and the purpose of what we do. I used to have thoughts about how it could be so much easier to just find a rich husband and be a housewife one day. And yet here I am – with a toddler and no days off work. And i love it – but it is because I can see and feel the purpose of what I do. So it does not exhaust me it inspired me. That is a massive turn around from the given up attitude I once held.

  23. Very inspiring. What a piece of gold you have offered everyone, it is a resource that does not cost anything but gives us the opportunity to reap amazing rewards.

  24. It confirms to me how when we are in tune, connected and aware of ourselves how much more energy we have.

  25. Loving what you do for work and taking responsibility for who you are at work is such a joy; thus being beneficial, purposeful, and expanding for yourself, others and humanity. Thank you Jennifer for sharing your experiences and your wisdom.

  26. Working full-time brings purpose and focus, which really supports our body and our being. It is true medicine.

  27. Isn’t it interesting how by cutting your hours right down you still felt the same levels of stress from work and that coming back from holiday the feeling of relief was gone almost the moment you were back at work. I can easily relate to this and what’s been so lovely to observe is that the more I commit to life and the way I approach work the more my life becomes one and the need for holidays is no longer a priority but something which I do simply for a change of scene and to visit family.

  28. Establishing a self-loving and supporting rhythm of life for oneself is the greatest medicine one can give oneself.

  29. I love that in the commitment to yourself and ultimately to your work you have also found the enjoyment of such a choice. The nursing industry is blessed to have you reflect to them the way of living and working you do to show them what is possible.

  30. Yes ironic that when people work less they can report feeling more tired than if they worked more, hence it shows it is more about living our true potential than focusing on the clock…

  31. iT feels Great to work full time from an inner feeling to bring the fullnes of Yourself full in the world.
    There iT us where the separation between private And work life disappears which doesn’t mean that we do not rest or have time off to honor ourselves in our natural rhythm of our body.

  32. We can all work much more than we think, and rather than draining us, a job can offer enjoyment, and engagement in life.

  33. “Through this I have learnt (and am still learning) that my body is a wonderful teacher.” Our body is an amazing teacher and one we have the opportunity to connect with and enjoy for our whole lives. Seeing our bodies as a teacher also shows us that life has ups and downs and it is the steadiness and clarity we can feel from our bodies in these times that shows the deep level of intelligence we hold within.

  34. If we consider the teaching offered by Serge Benhayon that “Everything is energy so therefore everything is because of energy” and apply this to our working environments. If we have the majority of people being at work and not really wanting to be there, we would rather be at home or doing something that we would do in our spare time (working for our days off), doing the minimum of what is required, rather than what is needed; we have high levels of sick leave; high levels of bullying etc. We can then understand why work almost turns into a dirty word and why sometimes we don’t want to be there. But if the truth is that working hard is very natural and not exhausting at all which has been not only my experience alone, then we need to ask more deeply what going on in how we are choosing to live, for our answers lie there.

  35. This article offers us an amazing example of how what seems to be very common reactions to work can be completely turned around. The key theme here seems to be responsibility: taking responsibility for how one lives one’s life in total, including the examination of any beliefs or attitudes we might be harbouring that hold us back from expressing and serving in full at work.

  36. We are definitely at our best when we are in full service, committed to life and bringing our all in every moment.

  37. Saying ‘Yes’ to purpose is saying ‘Yes’ to responsibility and this naturally brings about an increase in work. But what is saying ‘Yes’ to purpose? Unless I am taking responsibility for myself and how I am with myself then I would say it is impossible to live with true purpose. My work is also increasing naturally as the developing foundation of taking care of myself unfolds.

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