What exactly is the work-life imbalance? Where do you actually draw the line that your life is not well balanced? Many questions like these will arise after looking at the title of the article. To give a proper example, let’s say you are a workaholic nurse. You’re in fact a great nurse who works all day. However, you don’t get enough time to do your house chores or exercise or even maintain a healthy diet. What is work-life balance then? It can be something like this “a harmonious way of living that allows for integrating your professional and personal worlds.” To put it in a much simpler way, the way you balance your personal and professional life.
It’s no secret that nursing is one of the most stressful and physically demanding professions out there. The long shifts sometimes take a toll on their body. The physical and mental pressure tends to put a strain on their body. Not being able to manage stress can be very expensive in the workplace. It results in tiredness, anxiety, frustration, and other negative health effects which can hamper both their professional and personal lives.
Since RNs are educated to be self-sufficient professionals, they often assume they can handle everything on their own. However, this thought process sometimes leads to messing up their daily routine and hamper their personal and professional activities. Nursing can and should turn to their family, friends and colleagues for support. They can mend, fix, or achieve their work-life balance by themselves by just following a couple of tips and tricks. Some of them are noted below –
1. Invest In Self-care
The most important thing nurses can do is take enough time and spend it on them. This is extremely important, because at the end of the day, their work is being done by them; no one is doing it for them.
Nurses find it difficult or can’t find enough time to sleep, eat, or exercise properly. According to the National Sleep Foundation, a mature adult must sleep at least 8 hours per day. However, some nurses go on without sleeping or sleeping a little for 2/3 days. Adequate rest is extremely important to function properly in the workplace.
Nurses most of the time work with sensitive cases which requires a clear set of mind. Nurses also tend to compromise their health by not taking proper nutrition. It could be because of long shifts or sleep deprivation. Proper nutrition is important for a body or a brain to function properly.
2. Accepting Things As They Are
Acceptance is the best way to fight off stress. Acknowledge that there are certain things that you cannot change. Then develop your own coping strategies to handle the situation and your own feelings. Aside from accepting things that are beyond your control, embrace the things that are within your control. Even if you are a perfect nurse, mistakes can and will happen. It is best to not get behind your mistakes but to accept and overcome them, then move on.
3. Realize Your Purpose in Life
I think at one point in our life we all have faced an existential crisis. The nurses are no exception. While it is somewhat easy to get acknowledged by other people and getting your purpose defined by them. However, how do you define your purpose as a whole being? After all, a “nurse” is only your professional identity, what about your personal identity? You can embrace everything at once if you just accept who you are as a person not just as an identity.
If you realize your existence then try asking yourself, what your end goal in life is. Do you want to serve people till the end of your life or do you want to do something different? Asking yourself these questions will make you understand what your purpose in life is. Once you realize your purpose in life is, life gets somewhat easier.
4. Time Management
The reason for capitalizing the heading – after becoming a nurse, the most important luxury you will have is spare time. Nursing is a profession that requires most of your time you can offer. That is why it’s important to manage your time in the right way! Most nurses struggle with managing their time because they never know when they’ll be called on an emergency.
When juggling work and life, a nurse sometimes needs to sit down. Then make a routine, set limits on time and make sure to stick by them. At work, set limits with patients while still showing empathy. Make time for your family because at the end of the day, they’ll be the ones you can rely on.
5. Set priorities
Realizing what is important and what is not is an important aspect of life. Sometimes we waste valuable time, effort, and energy on things that do not matter or are very trivial. Ask yourself questions like “Do I need time to continue my education?” or “Am I spending enough time with family.” Do what is essential for your life and what will benefit you. Leave out everything that doesn’t support your goals or wishes.
6. Develop Stronger Relationships
It is important to use your rest day in the most efficient way. You can set your rest day as a time for family bonding. Research has shown that nurses often tend to get disconnected from their families due to work pressure. This hits more if they are living alone. Set a routine to get together with your family and friends.
This will allow you to develop a strong bond with all your family members and friends. Don’t neglect your co-workers as well. At the end of the day, they’ll be the ones who’ll be covering your shifts in times of emergency. Developing strong bonding with the people around you will make your life easier and more comfortable.
7. Learn to say no
Prioritize your work. Allow yourself to turn down unnecessary invitations or commitments that’ll hamper your work time or leisure time.
8. Enjoy & Have Fun
Last but not the least, enjoy whatever you do! Be it work or spending time with your family, just do more of what makes you happy. If you enjoy your work and personal life, life will automatically turn beautiful.