With all hope lost due to increasing and impossible expectations heaped upon health care practitioners by administrators, insurers, and patients each and every day, cry sessions are becoming part of the daily work routine. Administrative and patient BS? Check. Neverending paperwork? Check. Daily meltdown? An emphatic check. Our depressed and medicated GomerBlog team has put together these tips to make your daily cry at work a better one.
Ask someone to cover you during your daily cry. You’ll be surprised how many people will offer to cover your patients, pager, or phone so you can go off and weep inconsolably. Why? Because those same people just had a really good cry and know that’s what YOU need too. It’s THE thing to do in modern medicine. “Gotta go cry, can you cover my pager? Thanks!” Get used to it!
Think about an aspect of your job that makes you want to cry; this should be easy. Thankfully, there is no shortage of reasons to make us cry. It may be obvious: the work load, lack of sleep, or being underappreciated. Or it may be something simple: the stapler doesn’t have staples or the cafeteria ran out of forks. Like any great actor or actress, you MUST get into character.
The fetal position is a great starting cry position. Babies are onto something. They cry so much because they’re so comfortable crying in the fetal position. If going fetal isn’t for you, then try sitting with your back to the wall in a random corner somewhere, bend your knees, sink your eyes into your knees, and wrap your arms around your legs. There’s something painfully beautiful about a cascade of tears running down your eyes onto your arms and legs and forming a puddle of sadness at your feet. It screams, “I am a respected health care professional.”
You can cry anywhere, but try the inside of a broken elevator. A random corner can serve the basic needs of a cry fest, but to get the most out of your cry, really take the time to pick the right setting. The stall of an empty bathroom is a classic location. Linen closets, secluded staircases, and gift shops work well too. We are particularly fond of broken elevators. Nothing amplifies your misery like the heartbreaking loneliness you experience when isolated in a cold, metallic, and broken elevator, with your own cries echoing loudly around you. Talk about one good cry!
Cry and exercise. With all that is expected out of health care practitioners, it’s no wonder we don’t get any exercise. So instead, squeeze those facial muscles – one and two and three and breathe… and again! – and force out those tears. Do hundreds of repetitions. Wail loudly every once in a while to exercise those vocal cords, lungs, and diaphragm. Wipe away the sadness and sniffles with your left shoulder, right shoulder, left bicep, right bicep, left forearm, right forearm… that’s it! Way to go!! You look awful but at least you’re toned!
Use your daily cry to obtain the hug you always wanted. Crying is a challenge to coordinate with your breathing. Every once in a while though, overwhelm your body with emotions by bawling and blubbering so you can’t catch your breath. Gesture that you’re choking to someone from whom you’d like a hug. Though some call it a Heimlich maneuver, it is still in its most basic form a hug and may be what you need to get you through the stress.
Pick the right song to make those tears flow. Maybe it’s something by Boyz II Men or Adele. Maybe it’s the theme song to Sesame Street or Charles in Charge. Whatever it is, pump it up and bawl to the beat. Here at GomerBlog, we are partial to “Hurt,” “Time After Time,” and “Everybody Hurts.”
Don’t underestimate the wonder of a good group cry. We have liver rounds, why not whimper rounds or howling huddles? Misery LOVES company! Consider implementing a Code Burnout at your hospital where a multidisciplinary team of health care practitioners and ancillary staff can rapidly respond and support your floodgate of tears with tears of their own. Talk about teamwork!
Dr. 99 always carries of a box of tissues since crying spells can hit without warning. Dr. 99 likes to pair his salty tears with the sweetness of chocolate-chip cookies.