Nurses are valued members of the healthcare community, but they often can have trouble balancing their personal lives with the requirements of their position in the medical field. Nurses spend their careers caring for their patients but sometimes have difficulty caring for themselves.
East Ohio College knows the importance of nurses maintaining a good balance of their personal and professional lives, so we compiled a list of five tips to help nurses achieve work-life balance to keep themselves– and, therefore, their patients– happy and healthy!
Why Is Work-Life Balance Important For Nurses?
You’ve probably heard the phrase, “You can’t pour from an empty cup.” This is especially true for nurses. Nurses are compassionate and selfless people who often put the needs of others above their own.
It is essential for nurses to have a good work-life balance to prevent burnout, mental health issues, and the major health concerns the stress of being overworked can cause. The risk of nurses experiencing burnout is exceptionally high. According to a survey conducted by Nursing World, 62% of nurses experience burnout at some point in their careers. Nurses can avoid feelings of burnout, stress, and mental health issues by maintaining some divide between their work life and home life.
1. Optimize Your Work Schedule
One of the things that draws many people to a healthcare career is the schedule. Most positions in hospitals and medical centers work twelve-hour shifts, meaning you have the ability to work full-time hours without working the typical Monday through Friday schedule. Although the length of the shift may be longer, you can have more days off throughout the week to recuperate.
For those working the 12-hour shift, three days a week schedule, try to optimize your hours by scheduling your working days together. This will allow you a larger break in between working days to relax, take time to yourself, and then go back to work feeling prepared to care for your patients.
2. Develop A Strong Support Network
Having people who you can rely on to help you out when you are feeling down can make all the difference in your nursing career. Having people in your personal network can help you with personal growth and self-care and provide you with social experiences outside of work. Likewise, having a professional network can also help you connect with other nurses who understand your career and can provide emotional support on tough days.
3. Do What Brings You Enjoyment
Another way to manage your work-life balance is to make sure you are partaking in things that bring you joy outside of work. For example, perhaps you enjoy reading but haven’t taken the time to get into a new book. No matter what your hobby is, dedicating some time in your day to only do something that makes you feel good can help you slow down, decompress, and feel more in control of your personal life.
4. Make Time For Self-Care
Self-care should be an important part of everyone’s routine, but it can be especially beneficial for busy nurses. Spending time taking care of yourself can help improve your mental health and relief stress from work. Some examples of ways you can practice self-care include journaling, meditation, spending time with friends and family, or even taking a nap.
5. Take Care Of Your Body
Nursing can be a physically demanding career, so it is important to care for your body so it will function properly. Making the switch from fast, easy food options to nutritious meals can help improve body function and boost energy. Preparing meals in advance is a great way to ensure you are making healthy choices while at work. Additionally, it is important to make sure you stay hydrated both while working and when at home. The average adult needs four to six cups of water a day, and your body could require even more when you are active.
Exercise is another great way to ensure you are taking care of your body. Spending some time doing an activity that you enjoy is not only a great way to keep your body functioning well, but it also provides some stress relief!
Do You See Yourself As A Nurse?
Nurses play an important role in the lives of many, and helping to maintain a balanced personal and professional life can help them provide the best care possible for their patients. If you can see yourself working as a nurse, get started today in East Ohio College’s Nursing program! Contact our nursing admissions team to take the first step today by calling 330-385-1070 or Requesting Information.