You started the day thinking you would be able to leave early. Then, the shift got longer and before you knew it, you were on another 12-hour day without more than a couple of breaks thrown in there. Coming off a shift like this, you can feel the tension in your arms and shoulders. You are wired. You're still revving to go but at the same time, you somehow want to fall asleep for a week. How do you effectively decompress after such a busy shift?
Get Some Alone Time
Even if you have to lock yourself in the bathroom with a hot shower or bath, get in some alone time. Strip off your surgical scrub hats. Everyone who is physically stressed is also emotionally overwhelmed. You need some alone time with your thoughts. This is one of the best ways to rejuvenate your mind and body. It doesn't have to be long, but you do need that mental break.
Work the Tension Out
How do some doctors and nurses hit the gym after a long day at work? The reason for this is simple. You can take all of that tension and build up frustration and use it more efficiently. By working out, you release healthy hormones into your body and work to clear your mind. It's a good idea to try an exercise program like yoga to help unwind with if you aren't up for a more intense workout.
Whether you head to a comedy club, watch a fun movie, or just hang out with friends over drinks, the goal here is the same. By laughing, you get rid of all of that pent up frustration and you can move on with your day and life. When you fall asleep at night, you won't be thinking about how intense the day was but rather how much fun your evening was.
Hectic days are going to happen in this type of work. However, the way you feel and the way you act after that time is something you can control. With the right steps, you can significantly improve your experience.