I recently had the unenviable task of being in hospital. In fact I was in two. It wasn’t for me, it was another family member, but it proved one thing. The world is running at too fast a pace.
Running between Oxford’s hospitals to ensure that I was playing my part in being the smiley one when family are scared to death about what their future health, I realised how manic the world really is and how we can’t be expected to continue in this way.
In one instance, a day surgery unit. Back and forth the same three nurses seemed to run, chasing patients, weighing them, arranging consultant ‘chats’ and so on. Not once did they sit down, but simply did their bit then like some factory line moved onto the next. They were swift and seemed caring, but it wasn’t until sometime later, the reality of how they managed it with a smile hit home.
Following recovery, we ended up on a ward. Yet again, nurses back and forth, remaining cheerful, but appearing quite the opposite when you get chance to look properly at their eyes. They are exhausted. They are on auto. One nurse told how she was coming to the end of a 12 hour shift, and then would have to travel home to Coventry. This would take her until 10.30pm before she reached her front door. She had to be up again at 5.30am, in order to be back on shift at 8am. How is this conducive to providing comprehensive healthcare? These nurses were physically, mentally, emotionally drained.
The story was the same in the other hospital where another family member was recovering. This was a geriatric recovery ward and I take my hat off to anyone that decides to work there. Not only was it warm and felt quite rundown (it is an older part of the hospital), staff were faced with exceedingly ill patients with high demands, even, or perhaps especially, the ones crying out randomly or seemingly unconscious. Nothing seemed too much trouble and again, bleary-eyed staff were managing best they could.
I cannot find reason why it is acceptable for them to do so many hours in one go. I would love to be enlightened.
It has been difficult to race back and forth between hospitals and I have felt the strain myself. How pleasing to be able to spend some time with a fellow ‘relaxation’ enthusiast. A local country park saw me being guided in proper mindfulness awareness and practice. It was just what the doctor ordered (ironically). I’d undertaken some mindfulness work before and have recently begun to work with this in my new career, but having a professional outdoors enthusiast walk you through the joys of nature was just wondrous. I’d recommend it to anyone.
The same person invited me onto their radio show. As you know, radio gives me a real buzz anyway, but to be interviewed about my experiences of nature, relaxation, and becoming self-employed really sparked my imagination further.
Whilst it has therefore been an interesting week of people watching in hospitals, it has been interspersed with the opportunity to do some self-realisation and to really appreciate how lucky I am. Sure, money may be tight at the moment, but I am no longer stuck in a job where there is no option but to work overtime (without pay) to ensure work is done. I am not like those poor healthcare professionals having to work phenomenal hours. I can choose my own. This has opened up the chance to meet a wider and more interesting set of people who provide a deeper understanding of self and the world around me. A treat really!
I urge you to see how you can have a ‘mental shift’ and ensure you are getting the balance right in your life. If most of the time is spent worrying about what others think of you, how you look, doing more hours than you should for nothing, then perhaps a long walk in nature exploring your inner psyche is just the medication you need.
Keep up to date with some of my postings on the business page:- @relaxkidsoxford. I’m in the process of creating a website too, so watch out for that soon.