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

809 thoughts on “Working Full Time Again and Relishing It

  1. I used to feel as if work were a constant battle between me and my inbox, the perceived source of the constant stress I felt. Working in this way was totally draining, and it’s only when I started to work in a totally different way, focusing much more on the quality of work rather than the to-do list, that the focus became more about the quality that I was in, instead of focusing on something outside of me that I couldn’t control. Just about everything since then has felt better, including my energy levels.

  2. Its a weird conundrum – the more I work the easier I find it. There is a fitness to that which builds over time, but more than that it is in finding a way to work that does not drain, but can instead support and fire me up. I can say without hesitation that I love to work, its what this body was built for.

  3. The gorgeous thing I noticed in reading your blog Jennifer is what you have learnt from Serge Benhayon you have applied to your life; I really appreciate your commitment to yourself and life.

  4. How many of us in today’s work force are feeling overwhelmed in our chosen profession or life in general so much so that they reduce our hours of work? Too many I am guessing. The question is what are we all going to do about it?

  5. It is beautiful to feel how our approach to work can make it absolutely equally to every other aspect of our day. No more and no less.

  6. Its interesting that we can associate work with stress. The two are different things.. we are built to work and that can be incredibly satisfying either physically or emotionally. Stress is something altogether different – a physiological tension that is unnatural and caused by a mismatch between who we naturally are and what we think the world wants of us.

    1. I like your explanation of what stress is Simon, and true, we often associated the word stress with work, but it doesn’t have to be like that.

  7. Great to highlight the key to truly looking after ourselves is to observe and feel our body and what it is communicating. Our body naturally responds with more energy and vitality the more we stay present and be more gentle with ourselves and when we honour how we are feeling.

  8. It is powerful when we can live with true purpose in our lives and understand that we are here to serve others and offer a reflection of trust and inspiration for them to be who they truly are, embracing our jobs with the appreciation of our being-ness is a great opportunity to do this and much more for the good of all. Thank you Jennifer.

  9. “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.” Beautiful Jennifer. Choosing to stay in the present – and with self-care and loving ourselves we have so much more to offer our community – and for longer….

  10. Being connected with your bodies, rather than going into the stimulation that is so prevalent and deemed as normal offers a humongous difference to our way of being – and our wellbeing. It is what then brings the vitality we yearn for – and we realise that working full time, way beyond the standard 40 hour week, is natural and extremely joyful for a body is connected and nourished.

  11. It is understandable why people resent working when they have not been supported to care for themselves, because exhaustion kicks in and that makes work no fun at all. When we change the quality we work in there is no longer exhaustion but more vitality the more we work (believe it or not!)…this is a game changer.

  12. Life offers us many situations that make clear that the problem is our movements and not the amount of times we repeat them. The latter though, allows us to feel the quality we are moving in, so we can change it if wished.

  13. How wonderful is this writing and the glory of you being back at work and the benefits for all the patients and work colleagues you meet, just awesome. `thank you for sharing.

  14. A great sharing on the importance of listening to our bodies, and to also look at the quality we are choosing first and foremost. The fact is, if we are getting tired, why? How are we moving in a way to allow this rather than blaming the thing we are doing.

  15. Serge Benhayon has shared and shown that by listening to and taking true care of our body we can work with purpose without exhaustion but when our mind and thoughts are in control exhaustion can set in no matter how little physical work we are doing.

  16. ‘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.’ How lovely to surrender to our bodies, honouring them and appreciating what an incredible job they do for us and feeling the natural movements that lie under the controlled ones we have lived with for so long. Lovingly putting ourselves to bed honours the night time process of clearing and rebuilding for the next day- like wise in the morning, lovingly getting up and preparing for the day.

  17. You are very inspiring- I love reading this as it inspires me to look at the changes that I can be making as I notice that I am still feeling quite tired at the end of my working day and week. I know that I need to bring more awareness to taking care of me in the day and this will increase my work quality.

  18. Something that I am pondering on at the moment since writing this is I may still have the occasional day where I feel tired, or something at work has thrown me a curve ball, but I however am remaining very steady and deeply committed to doing the best I can, with as much honesty as I can. I work in an area of high emotion and I have to admit that sometimes I do take that on, but I note it pretty quickly these days. But it’s super interesting to still be thriving, enjoying very much every detail of my work, even though some things may bring frustration, but my commitment does not waver and I certainly would not want to be anywhere else (this is huge).

    This really highlights the foundation and I have built on and deepened over the last few years. Something to deeply appreciate for myself.

  19. Quality in which we move through our days really does support us not only in that moment but all well after the movement has been made and this is significant to note. Listening and observing our bodies in all that we do, gives us much to learn and appreciate about how we live and how we can continue to deepen the relationship for many more years to come.

  20. Beautiful and inspiring to read how you have built a very supportive foundation for yourself and how you have changed the relationship with your work. Recently I have been neglecting the signals my body was giving me and loyalty has prevailed over what I felt in my body, still recovering from that and allowing space in what is next.

  21. I am enjoying working more than I ever used to. Its still something I am refining, but where as I used to think the job was the problem, increasingly I am finding it’s my attitude to work and the way I am working that causes the drain and the stress.

  22. Thank you Jennifer for exposing how trying to control the outer environment will not help us with stress. Stress is an internal response to what is happening within us and around us therefore no amount of trying to control the external environment will help if we are not dealing with our internal response to what is going on.

  23. I have worked shift work for many years now and I used to be addicted to coffee as I felt it was the only way for me to function with the level of tiredness I would feel, and then one day I got sick of the shaky hands and racy feeling in my body from the caffeine and I decided to give it up, I never touched it again and my energy levels and sleep patterns improved considerably.

  24. What a gift you are offering to others that do shift work or simply work in demanding roles and conditions. Running my own business and having a very large family to take care of after a long day at work means that I basically never have time to have a walk or a moment to myself, which used to really bother me. I have found that my best days now, at work and home is when I do not see things as having an end point, as when I get attached to thinking I have a moment, like a walk or a rest, I miss out on the fact that I have moments, every moment. Now I am just bringing my focus to having fun and rest while I am tending to the kids instead of driving them through to get to the end. I always feel like I have heaps of energy, even after 14 hours on my feet, amazing really.

  25. Shift work is a challenge if we do not listen to our body, as our body knows how to do shift work. On the other hand, if we honour our body, respect it and cherish its messages then shift work is easy.

  26. “I am relishing the opportunity of being back in full-time work” I love this line as it comes straight from the heart and is a truth that is felt in the body while all the struggling and hesitation to work comes from the mind and in that way has its detrimental effect on our body and mental state. Our bodies really love to work and when we appreciate that we come alive again and make return the natural vibrancy we ought to live.

  27. Sometimes I complain about all the things I have to do – it’s never ending. But really, there is no complaint – it is far preferable to the days when I chose to have nothing to do.

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