There are countless reasons why nursing is an excellent career choice. It is a rewarding occupation with unlimited opportunities, competitive salaries, and general satisfaction. On top of that, the demand for nurses is ever-increasing. But no matter how sought-after and in-demand it is, there’s no sugar-coating the fact that nursing is one of the most stressful and hectic professions in healthcare.
As a nurse, you are expected to be on your feet 24/7, regardless of how long your shifts may get. On top of that, it can be emotionally exhausting to watch people suffer and die. Because of this, maintaining a work-life balance is essential for nurses to not only perform their duties effectively but also take good care of themselves.
To that end, here is how nurses can achieve a healthy work-life balance and a satisfying and fulfilling career:
- Get your priorities straight.
If you work in one of the more specialized settings, like the ER or ICU, nursing can be a 24/7 profession. So, it must be customary for you to go for days without having family dinners or getting an extra hour of sleep. This is not good for you. Thus, you must set your priorities. By getting your priorities straight, you can better care for yourself and your patients since it will help you stay focused and organized.
Furthermore, if you yearn for flexible working hours and more advanced responsibilities, elevating your learning could help you achieve your career goals. You can also opt for online nursing programs from credible universities for a reasonable fee in various regions.
For instance, if you plan to pursue online nursing programs in Kentucky, that’s great because the nursing schools here are best known for their quality, student satisfaction, and affordability.
Besides, Kentucky is also known for its educational resources that make it easier for students to pursue their nursing degrees. The state offers a wide range of student resources, from financial aid to career counseling and job placement services. And with the help of these resources, you can plan your career path and make sure that you reach your goals.
- Master the art of saying “no.”
Setting limits is crucial to preserving a proper work-life balance, even though doing so occasionally can make you feel arrogant and terrible. Recognize that there may be occasions when answering “yes” prevents you from taking good care of yourself or raises your stressors. So, when the time comes, give yourself the freedom to say “no,” and resist the need to feel regret or guilt. Finding a positive work balance and being in a pleasant mood requires the ability to say no.
- Reconsider your diet
Maintaining a balanced diet is nearly impossible with erratic shift schedules and long days. But it’s crucial to ensure you’re giving your body the nourishment required to stay energized. This will keep you feeling rested on your days off, allowing you to make the most of your downtime with loved ones and be more attentive while caring for patients.
Though rewarding yourself with a takeout order or a bar of chocolate from the vending machine may be tempting after a difficult day, these actions will make you feel lethargic and sleepy. Instead, opt for healthy meals. Your body will undoubtedly thank you for focusing on nutritious meals and keeping these as occasional pleasures.
- Give your body the rest it needs.
Being a nurse will make you weary and sleep less because of a busy schedule. During a 12-hour shift, hospital nurses may travel up to five miles on foot. To re-energize and restore your body, you must get enough sleep. There are some easy strategies you can follow to encourage sound sleep, and a handful of them are listed below:
- Wake up at the same time each day
- Gather some morning sunlight
- Avoid afternoon caffeine
- Set up a soothing bedtime routine
- Unplug all electronics one hour before going to bed
Another piece of advice that requires little effort but can help you appreciate your accomplishments and encourage a restful night’s sleep is incorporating positive reflection. Instead of dwelling on a disagreement with a coworker, consider the child you assisted in delivering or the family you consoled. Furthermore, put your mind at ease if you have a difficult day at work by concentrating on the positive.
- Up your self-care game
How do you prefer to get ready for the day? What do you do to relax after a busy day? Like establishing a wind-down ritual at the end of a long day, you should prioritize everything that helps you prepare for a challenging shift. Before your lengthy shift:
- Try arriving 15 minutes earlier to meditate, do some stretches, or warm up your muscles with a brief sprint around the block.
- Set aside time before going to bed to ponder the day by writing in a journal or mentally listing your blessings.
- Make a bubble bath a priority if you must include it in your wind-down ritual every night.
- Choose a hobby
Pick a pastime that you enjoy. This is an effective technique to release stress, rage, and aggravation. It’s crucial to relax and have a few laughs. Get a good night’s rest; it will help you recover your strength and passion for working hard and selflessly serving others in the days ahead. We recognize that times are difficult and that you put in a lot of hours assisting others, but you also deserve a good night’s sleep and a work-life balance.
- Adopt practical time-management techniques.
Once you’ve identified the areas in your life that you want to improve, another tip is to apply strategies that can help you fit them into your routine.
Simple time management techniques can help you give good patient care while finding time for the things you adore, from reducing distractions to outsourcing responsibilities.
- Say “yes” to any form of help.
In life, we develop specific relationships that aid our development and growth. Your coworkers, supervisors, and mentors can provide excellent advice and support. If you feel helpless or stuck, never be afraid to seek assistance. Calling out and creating a network of assistive individuals is entirely OK. The same holds for domestic life. Participate in decisions affecting your life and career with your friends and family. Establishing a support network of individuals who can relate to your needs and desires is crucial. You can’t accomplish it all by yourself, after all.
Nursing is undoubtedly a fulfilling and enjoyable profession. Still, it may wear you out if you need to manage your time and prioritize self-care properly. Use these suggestions to help you better balance your personal and professional lives and your mental and physical well-being. Lastly, remember that you have more authority as a nurse than you may realize. You can overcome this problematic career obstacle of juggling family and work if you have the tenacity and perseverance.
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