How Nurses Can Enjoy a Better Work-Life Balance

online nurse

Nurses are the backbone of every healthcare organization. Many will work long, tiring hours caring for patients’ every need, attending to serious medical emergencies, and helping patients manage whatever illness or injury they are dealing with.

Due to the sheer level of pressure on their shoulders, it is vital nurses find ways to relax, unwind, and spend more time with their loved ones. Find out how online nurse can enjoy a better work-life balance.

Make Time for Self-Care Each Day

A lack of self-care can result in a low mood, a lack of energy, and burnout. Once the working day is over, you must make time for self-care. For instance, you must aim to enjoy between seven to nine hours of sleep, eat three healthy meals, and embrace relaxing activities, such as reading, meditating, or taking a hot bath. The above actions are key to lowering your stress levels, improving your focus at work, and supporting good physical health.

Embrace Stimulating Activities

While relaxation is important, you must also try to incorporate various stimulating activities into your spare time. You will feel more productive and happier in your personal life when engaging with others or challenging your mind or body.

For example, you must set time aside to connect with friends, enjoy various hobbies, or work towards a personal goal. If you spend a lot of your free time staring at the TV, the hours will quickly pass you by and you will soon feel like you’re back at work.

Practice Good Time Management

Due to long working hours and back-to-back shifts, many nurses might struggle to squeeze in much time with their loved ones, for relaxation, or to pursue their professional dreams. Yet, good time management could help you tick off all the above without compromising your performance at work.

Start by prioritizing tasks both at home and at work and prep for the working day the night before. Also, try to set boundaries to ensure you don’t work too many hours and aren’t answering calls at home.

By mastering good time management, you will feel happier in your career, and you might even have more time to spare to pursue a senior position. There are even online nurse practitioner programs in Texas that will allow you to climb the nursing ladder at a time that suits your busy schedule.

Don’t Skip Exercise

After spending all day on your feet, you might feel tempted to swap exercise for the sofa on your next day off. While working out might be the last thing you will want to do after back-to-back shifts, it is vital to make time for exercise.

Physical activity cannot only improve your physical health, but it can work wonders for your mental health. Cardiovascular exercises can help you release built-up stress in the body and provide much mental clarity. 

However, avoid exercising straight after a 12-hour shift, as your body will need time to rest and recover from a long working day. Instead, workout on your next day off to switch off your mind from work, lower your stress levels, and boost your energy.

Ask for Help When Needed

Nurses will have many tasks to complete each day, both at work and at home. If you often feel overwhelmed with your to-do lists, don’t hesitate to ask others for help. For instance, you could meet with a online nurse manager to discuss delegating tasks to other nurses or support staff. Also, you might need to ask your other half and children for help cleaning the home, cooking various meals, and picking up essential groceries.

Learn to Say No

Every nurse has a right to relaxation. If a social invitation will stand in the way of rest and recovery, you might need to turn down an invite to a party or dinner to enjoy a good night’s rest instead.

Also, if you feel exhausted, you must say no to requests to take on an extra shift at work. Otherwise, you could burn out altogether or struggle with health issues, such as depression. While saying no might not always feel easy, it is essential for your health to do so.

Talk to a Therapist to Lower Stress

Nurses must treat themselves as their number one patient. If you feel tired and low, your mood and energy levels will impact patient care. If you struggle with workplace stress and often take it home with you, you could benefit from talking to a qualified therapist

It will allow you to share your worries, frustrations, and experiences with a non-judgmental, trustworthy professional. As a result, they could help you navigate your various emotions, which can help you feel happier and healthier at work and home.

Collaborate With Other Nurses

Every nurse will face a great deal of physical and mental pressure in their role each day, from caring for difficult patients to prioritizing an overwhelming workload. Collaborating with other nurses can take away some of the pressure, as you can share the workload, simplify issues together, and even provide emotional support when needed. 

It can help the whole team finish their shifts on schedule and improve their working life, so they will be less likely to struggle with stress, fatigue, or a low mood once they return home. So, strike up friendships at work, lend a helping hand when possible, and try to improve collaboration and communication across your department.

Conclusion

Finding a work-life balance as a nurse might feel like a challenge, but it is possible. If you find ways to manage your time better, you could spend more quality time with your loved ones, embrace more relaxation, and even achieve your career goals. By making time for self-care, asking others for help, and exercising, you could feel happier and healthier.

Also, aim to find ways to cope with your job’s many responsibilities, from seeking therapy to saying no to shift requests. It could help you lower your rising stress levels and maintain a passion for the healthcare sector and the patient experience.