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

832 thoughts on “Working Full Time Again and Relishing It

  1. I agree our bodies are wonderful teachers, and they speak loudly and clear in so many ways, it is always our choice whether to listen or not. I have learned to listen and honour my body, and have made many adjustments and refinements to how I live work, and relate to others. My awareness has increased and my ability to read life and situations supports me in knowing what is needed, and keeping life super simple.

  2. What I have come to understand is that when I take loving care of, and honour how my body is feeling that I can physically work longer hours without feeling exhausted. I am now in my seventies and my working day in much longer than it was in my fifties and I am way more vital and enjoying life much more, than I did back then.

    1. That is impressive Elizabeth to be working longer hours in your seventies than you were in your fifties! What feels key in your sharing is your self-love, with love all is possible.

  3. Often people use this ‘cutting down on hours’ technique as a solution for their lack of self-care and not realizing how much they can change their behavior and go to the root cause of their exhaustion.

  4. I have not really worked full time since I retired from my first career at the age of 50. Until recently I thought that 5 or 6 hours of physical work was more than enough at my age, but at the suggestion of my esoteric practitioner I have been trying to see what it feels like to work harder and I have been building a body that can do so. I have to say that I am amazed at the results, I am finding hard physical work easier than ever and am able to work harder physically than at any time before in my life. As a friend said to me the other day, I am in pretty good shape for 68.

  5. ‘I walked in a way that was how my body wanted to walk.’ and that’s such an important sentence for often we do things in a way we feel we should do them rather than what our body suggests at that time … it’s such a simple but very tangible way to see what honouring our body is about.

  6. Observing our body and what it is communicating is the key to making choices that are more self-caring which builds a solid foundation to support ourselves and those we interact with throughout the whole of the day.

  7. I find that the more we are consistent with our lives – the more we are in rhythm and not in peaks and troughs – the more energy we naturally have. I have loved experimenting with this and discovering that caffeine doesn’t need to have a place if we have this sort of relationship with how we are.

  8. Yes the current way of thinking is that when we are tired we have to do less. The thing is that we don’t stop and ask ourselves ‘what of the way we are working is making me tired?’, if we ask this and are honest there are many more factors that are contributing to how we are feeling at work than just the work itself!

  9. ” I am relishing the opportunity of being back in full-time work ”
    Is it not amazing that once we commit oneself to life how enjoyable it is to be alive.

  10. The walk that you point out is interesting, I can feel some mornings I go for a walk but I am already in my day, consumed by it and thinking about what I need to do and in this I am not with myself, my mind is already at work. The times where I go for a walk and enjoy the moment I find on those days I am much more steady for the day.

  11. Such a beautiful blog Jennifer. I have gone through a similar process, though I had just retired when I came across the presentations of Serge Benhayon. Needless to say I have come back to work – not exactly the same work, though related. My work has been slightly part-time in retirement years and I have been enjoying the space to do some voluntary work in writing, editing and proofing, but now that that activity too has turned into a business and more and more work is coming I am having a bit of a ‘put the breaks’ on happening, because I want to make sure I still have a bit of space – but of course this is looking at the whole thing upside-down, because if I am connected with myself and living harmoniously, the space will be there no matter what.

  12. In really taking care of ourselves which the body appreciates in the most simple of ways, like giving up coffee and stimulants, going to bed when we are tired, changing our diet according to our bodies communication ( when we don’t over-ride it), of course our energy levels will increase which means we can handle more responsibility, and thus we can handle more love in our lives which can be felt in how simple our lives become.

  13. What a gem to read for anyone who works, and especially seeing that whatever job we have our body will always know how to do it in a way that is not to its detriment. We only need to listen, take note and follow through.

  14. It is so common for us to feel resigned to our circumstances and think that there’s nothing we can do to change. It takes much honesty and humbleness to allow ourselves to even consider another way of living as a real possibility, and actually taking steps to make it a reality. This is a truly inspiring sharing. Thank you, Jennifer.

  15. It is wonderful to work for as long as one possibly can – just amazing to be able to serve others and transform the work-place through a loving reflection. I cannot imagine being retired.

  16. When we bring a level of care and true nurturing to our body and make choices that take into consideration how we are feeling, we align to our body’s natural rhythm that is not draining for the body at all, it actually energises us.

  17. It is super important, that we adjust our body with our lifestyle choices, when we feel, that work is overwhelming us. Most of the people would just check out more, withdraw, push themselves ( including foods and substances that seemingly give energy). I love the feeling, that we in fact don´t need anything from the outside to work really hard. Because we are made to work.

  18. Through taking care of our body and all it requirement in order for it to be in harmony, allows us to live more vital and fulfilling lives.

    1. Yes and from there you realize that we are actually made to work and that there is nothing wrong with working hard and long hours is we take care of our body.

  19. 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.

    1. For me it is more challenging as well, when there is nothing on my agenda. Even resting requires a focus for me and I can feel right away, when this focus slightly slips. I love connecting to my purpose in life for service, as it gives me the foundation and clearity – it constantly confirms me in my qualities, which supports me in expanding of who I am. I love it 🙂

  20. “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.

    1. Absolutely, I do check in by now, if it needs a nap or a walk, when I feel a bit tired. A connected walk is super rejuvenating and supporting the being through the bodymovements connecting to its quality and purpose.

  21. 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.

  22. 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.

  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. 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.

  25. 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.

  26. 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.

  27. 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.

  28. 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.

  29. 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.

  30. ‘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.

  31. 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.

  32. 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.

  33. 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.

  34. 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.

  35. 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.

  36. 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.

  37. “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….

  38. 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.

  39. 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.

  40. 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.

  41. 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.

  42. 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?

  43. 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.

  44. 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.

  45. 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.

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