Monitoring patients around the clock and providing quality services to patients is not a walk in the park. For this reason, many nurses suffer from stress and anxiety. Chances are they may develop negative thoughts resulting in a short temper and other adverse health issues. Therefore, they must maintain a work-life balance to achieve better patient outcomes and personal well-being.
What is work-life balance? Simply put, it refers to maintaining a balance between personal and work life. While maintaining a work-life balance for nurses may seem hard, achieving it has become necessary now more than ever. Read on the following tips and strategies to practice work-life balance as a nurse:
- Set your goals
It may seem to others that nurses only have one goal in their lives – to help patients recover from medical conditions. However, have you ever wondered about your purpose in life, and where do you see yourself standing? Are you taking out some time for your personal and professional growth? Although the nature of this job demands time, you need to realize that you are also a parent, friend, child, or spouse. By engrossing yourself too much in work, you might be lacking in other areas of your life. For instance, you might be a working mother and want to spend more time with your children. Perhaps you might want to earn an online dnp to go the extra mile in your career and become s future nursing leader.
Allocate some time for each goal and practice effective time-management techniques. By the end of the day, you will feel contented and proud of yourself for achieving your goals, giving time to your family, and performing well at the same time.
- Come to terms with the current situation
Everyone wishes to be perfect in their jobs and give their best. Nursing individuals are sympathetic, and they often blame themselves when anything goes wrong. While patient care and safety are the utmost priority of nurses; however, they are humans and can make mistakes. Nurses need to realize that there will be times when things will be out of control, and there is nothing they can do about it. Therefore, instead of dwelling on such situations, it is better to accept mistakes, learn from them, get a grip, and move ahead.
- Make strong work-life relationships
According to studies, relationships play a vital role in human wellness. People with strong relationships with their family and friends are happier, healthier, and have longer lives. Nurses work for long hours and find it hard to manage and establish relationships. One good way is to designate a day or time out of the busy routine to bond with family or friends. Eating a meal together, meeting at a club, taking a walk in the park are a few ways to connect.
- Take breaks
No wonder the job of nurses is hectic; their daily responsibilities drain out their energy. Taking a break is essential to improve productivity and focus. Taking short breaks at work can prevent them from exhaustion and help them recharge. Stepping out from the workplace to clear out the mind or having a coffee break with colleagues can prove to be refreshing. Moreover, nurses must leave their work stress at work. It gives them space to enjoy their family time or personal hobbies. The more nurses pay attention to self-care, the better care they could provide to their patients.
- Exercise regularly
Nurses are prone to higher stress levels because of their busy schedules and the emotional baggage that comes with their job. Thus, taking some time from their tight routine for exercising is essential for their mental health. However, after finishing a 12-hour shift, going to a gym may seem challenging. Finding practical ways to incorporate physical activity into your daily routine can significantly improve your work-life balance. Going for a 10-minute walk, taking stairs instead of the elevator, and practicing some stretches to lose tense muscles are effective ways to reduce stress.
- Ask for help
It comes as no surprise that the healthcare industry is experiencing massive pressure because of the pandemic. Being a nurse, if you are struggling to manage your responsibilities but, at the same time, cannot take off. Then maybe it’s time to ask for help. You can take help from a self-help book, talking to a friend or family member, or consulting a therapist. Be mindful that you and your co-workers are in the same situation, so asking your colleagues’ help may not be a bad idea.
- Take care of mental health
Setting boundaries is vital for emotional health. Just because nurses are responsible for taking care of patients’ needs, it does not mean they have to compromise on their mental health. To maintain a healthy work-life balance, nurses must take good care of their emotional and mental health. Reducing additional workload and finding ways to cope with stressful situations at the workplace can help you achieve good mental health. Furthermore, taking some time out from daily routine to do something enjoyable allows you to live a healthier life.
While you may enjoy your job as a nurse, but there is no denying that life can get a bit too challenging and overwhelming. You cannot just wait and hope for things to get better. It is essential to evaluate yourself and identify your goals, wants, desires, and needs. If you fail to do this, it might get hard for you to attain a work-life balance, let alone peace of mind and satisfaction. Not to mention how it would result in crippling outcomes.