Being a nurse means long hours and hard, emotionally and physically draining work. In this field especially, it is important that you’re staying on top of maintaining a healthy work/life balance. For many nurses, shifts can last 12 hours or more and run 4-5 days a week.
Determine What is Most Important to You and Set Priorities
Before you can truly have a fulfilling work/life balance, it’s important you understand what you value most in your life. For a lot of people this is family and friends and ensuring they have enough time in their day-to-day to engage with them.
Along with your values, there are also your priorities. Are you looking to further your education? Pick up a new skill? Adopt a pet? If so, these are all factors into your work schedule and how you balance that with what is important in your personal life.
Once you have a list of those things that are truly important to you, you can then delegate the tasks in your work life so you’re able to enjoy them.
Build a Support System
Whether in the workplace or in your personal life, building meaningful relationships is very important. Gaining trust between your colleagues can help with burnout. If you’re stressed on the job and need support due to a patient, work task, or anything else that might be bothering you, these work relationships can help lift you up and get you through. It is also helpful to be close with your manager so you’re able to talk to them about your schedule or any personal struggles that might be affecting your work.
An important way to make sure you have a healthy work-life balance is to practice time management. Make sure that your work schedule lines up with your priorities. Some good ways to practice time management are, creating schedules and delegating tasks where you can.
Another way to make time management a reality is to set expectations with your work early. If you have certain days you need to take off or a maximum amount of hours you can work per week, it’s important to vocalize your needs early on in your new job. Or, if your priorities change and you need to discuss changing your schedule, you should also let your job know your needs.
Take Restorative Breaks
Sometimes when we get so wrapped up in our work we forget to slow down and take breaks throughout the day. But in a field like nursing, where the day-to-day tasks happen fast and are often urgent, it’s easy to forget. Making sure you’re taking your allotted breaks, and even taking extra if you need, can help you reset and get yourself ready to finish your work.
Invest in Self Care
Self care is a great way to stay on top of taking care of yourself outside of work. Nursing is a particularly stressful field between caring for multiple patients, some of whom are dying, and working long, tiring shifts, and it’s important to take some time for you. Some great ways to practice self care are:
- Going for a walk
- Cooking your favorite meal
Whatever your preferred method of self care is, it’s important to carve out time to restore yourself after a long week, or even a long shift. If you’re searching for more self care practices, check out our list of ways to take charge of your mental health.
Here at Stability Healthcare, we’re dedicated to promoting a healthy work/life balance and ensuring that every nurse has the right tools to help them succeed in both the workplace and in their personal life. Let us know how you maintain your work/life balance!