Dear Why,

Congratulations on earning your Licensed Practical Nurse credential! Your completing this program shows me that you have the commitment to seeing things through.

We commit to things we enjoy and things that fulfil us. Over time, however, our interests sometimes change, and what we previously enjoyed, we no longer have the passion for anymore. This lack of passion sometimes results in us shirking responsibilities and avoiding commitments or obligations whether personal or professional.

It appears to me that by not being able to hold down a job in the LPN field lately, and you work in this area is “affecting [your] health and overall well-being,” you may be burned out. Occupational burnout is thought to result from long-term, unresolvable job stress. A few characteristic signs, which you seem to have, include lack of motivation, reduced performance at work, proneness to illness, and what I consider very important, a lack of personal achievement and fulfilment from your job.

Many people who experience occupational burnout – or something similar – push themselves further. They believe that they must have a “backup plan.” What’s important here is for you to allow yourself to first ground yourself through self-care. This should be your first “backup plan,” in which you take steps to reverse the effects of burnout.

We feel better physically, mentally, and emotionally after returning from a holiday, so take a much-deserved vacation (without feeling guilty for taking a break). Meet friends, enjoy their company and let them enjoy yours. Google ‘burnout support groups’ in your location and attend some meetings. Eat more nutritious meals, get much-needed sleep, and start an exercise program facilitating stress-release. Take some time to get to know you – the new you!

Essentially, occupational burnout mostly occurs when our present job is not aligned with our present values or interests. In this case, we must re-evaluate our goals and pursue a career from which we could attain self-fulfilment. You mentioned that you “love nature, being outside, and alternative method to healing.” To me, this sounds like a wonderful place to begin your journey of finding a career that you would enjoy and are passionate about.

Perhaps you could begin your journey by researching volunteer opportunities in the alternative healing field. Govolunteer.ca offers many such opportunities. I would recommend that you first try as many areas that you may be interested in pursuing as a career choice, and then visit the Practitioners of Natural Healing website (pwp.vpl.ca/siic/practitioners-of-natural-healing), on which you would be able to gain further insight into various related careers, including Acupuncture, Traditional Chinese Medicine Doctors, Herbalists, Homeopaths, etc.

Appreciate that finding the ‘right’ career is like finding the ‘right’ romantic partner: you must have passion and receive personal fulfilment for both to lead to long-term commitments.

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