Got Stress? Me too!

When people find out I that I teach meditation, I often hear : “I tried meditating, but I just didn’t have the time.”  

I get it.  We all live busy lives –myself included.  Juggling three careers - working per-diem as a labor and delivery nurse, guiding as a trip leader for Backroads travel company and managing The Balanced Nurse - requires some skill. It sounds like a lot of work but I wouldn’t trade it for the world.  I carefully crafted my life to look this way.  While each has their own stressors, they also bring a lot of joy to my life. 

photo by Larry Lamsa

photo by Larry Lamsa

This week due to preeclampsia, my patient delivered her baby prematurely while she subsequently experienced a post partum hemorrhage. This was stressful.  

I am finalizing my individual coaching work with clients, and am excited about their personal transformations over the past few months. I'm also preparing for the daylong classes for nurses I am teaching in SF in the fall.  Managing logistics can be stressful.

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I’m also packing up my home for my housesitter.  I am temporarily moving to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, for my job with Backroads where I will lead guests on tours of The Grand Tetons and Yellowstone National Park.  Even short term moving can be stressful. I’ll be working 12-16 hour days while on a trip. 

photo by Don Graham

photo by Don Graham

This job entails racking bikes on top of the van, hitching the trailer to the van, driving a 16-person passenger van, changing flat tires on bicycles and timing happy hour to coincide with geyser Old Faithful’s eruption. Helping create perfect vacations for people can be stressful but so much fun!

Like most nurses, I’ve never taken an acting class, but I could get an Oscar for my ability to suppress my anger, fear or anxiety and remain calm under stress at the bedside.  It takes skill to transform profanities on the tip of your tongue and say things like, “just take a nice deep breath” to the patient.  Patients need us to keep our stress internal.  While it is quite entertaining to watch a nurse lose it, it can really escalate anxiety for the patient.

For better or worse, I was raised in a family that anticipated crisis, a consequence of a father who was a Captain in the New York City Fire Department. I continued to cultivate hypervigilance, anticipating emergencies in critical care and obstetrics when those pesky babies squeeze their umbilical cords in utero. Most people who know me would be surprised to hear me say that I live with a low level anxiety as part of my personality. It's mostly all on the inside.  This is who I am and even on the busiest of days, if I can’t meditate for a half hour, I can find five minutes somewhere.  I need to find the time.  The people in my life need me to as well!

And I have a little friend that helps me.  The insight timer is very popular and is happy to take on new friends if you want to check it out.  It’s called the insight timer app