Many people in the healthcare industry may scoff at the thought of having a healthy work-life balance. Although it will take some commitment in trying to find a balance and schedule that works for you, it could be well worth it!
In this post, we’ll go over ways to begin creating the perfect work-life balance that works for you:
- Taking care of your health
- Create a specific routine for days you’re on call
- Set up a household calendar
- Don’t take time for granted
- Develop stronger relationships with family and friends
Taking care of your health
Self-care can be an easy thing to neglect. With ever-changing schedules, overnight shifts, and long hours, it’s hard to find enough time to treat yourself. To best help take care of others, it’s particularly important that you’re making sure you’re taking care of yourself!
We’ve created a wellness toolkit as a resource for nurses to get access to tools, expert tips, and resources for supporting your mental health and well-being all in one place! We also encourage you to check out our tips on nurse burnout for information on how to achieve a healthy work-life balance.
Create a specific routine for days you’re on call
Being on call puts you in a spot where you’ll always be on your toes even at home! The best way to ease some of this anxiety is to have a routine in order for your on-call shifts.
It’s easy to feel like you can’t be productive when you can be called into work at any minute. Especially with a nursing shortage, nurses have been experiencing being on-call more than ever.
A routine can help you by having a prioritization of things to accomplish while you’re on an on-call shift. Whether you decide to start on your household chores as soon as you get up or dedicate these days to errands (with your nursing bag in handy).
One of the most important things about being on-call is that you are near your workplace, so certain errands and other activities may be out of the question. This can be a good opportunity to do shorter household chores, such as cleaning up one room or doing the dishes. This is a good approach for someone who wants to accomplish something during their on-call shift, but not get too caught up with a large project.
Set up a household calendar
Sure, everyone has a reminders app on their phone. But, did you know that writing your agenda down can help you remember and follow through? You may be surprised by the benefits of writing down your schedule. Seeing your schedule on a daily basis can help you establish routines and plan accordingly.
Having a calendar in an easily accessible place will give you a visual of what your month will look like. Putting it on the fridge is a great place because you will see it often.
Certain nurse specialties (like a nurse educator or school nurse) are more likely to work consistent hours.
This method can help you either keep track of a more consistent schedule so things don’t overlap or a more hectic schedule that may be a bit all over the place.
Don’t take time for granted
We get it, your off day is like your holy grail. But those glorious 24 hours of freedom can fly by, making it feel like your day only lasted a few hours. To get the most out of your day, it’s important to make sure you take time to do things that make you happy.
Your first priority when it comes to their off days is catching up on your rest! There’s absolutely nothing wrong with indulging in rest on your off days – you’ve certainly earned it.
However, it’s not uncommon to experience guilt if you do nothing on your off day. Whether it is pursuing a side hustle, catching up on much-needed rest, or even studying for your CEUs, use your free time wisely!
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Develop stronger relationships with family and friends
Now that we’ve gotten taking care of yourself covered, we can start figuring out how to maintain your social relationships outside of the workplace. Many people say that going into the healthcare field is a great way to ensure your social life will end, but it doesn’t have to be that way!
Finding a balance between work, self-care, and maintaining relationships is easier said than done (we see you, night shift nurses). But it’s possible!
Not having a social life has proven negative effects that are linked to depression. On the other hand, nurses that maintain an active social life boast benefits such as experiencing less compassion fatigue and improved job performance.
“Neuroscience Explains Why You Need To Write Down Your Goals If You Actually Want To Achieve Them.” forbes.com. Accessed February 27, 2022
“The risks of social isolation.” apa.org. Accessed February 27, 2022