Do you need to take a deeper look at your personal and professional life balance? If you answered yes, then this article is for you.
Many nurses find themselves working a demanding job and raising a family. Finding the balance between the two worlds can be challenging when so many perceived competing demands on your time and energy.
To some, striking a balance between work and life might seem impossible, especially if you’re working long hours. However, it is possible to achieve this when you prioritize the most important things in your life.
By setting boundaries for yourself, you can do what’s right for your personal health and well-being without compromising the needs of your patients.
If a patient needs more help or has a change in condition, you must be able to respond quickly without being distracted by other matters outside of work.
Good Training Can Help You Set Boundaries
When nurses invest in good training, they can learn to set appropriate boundaries for themselves. You need to set clear boundaries for yourself if you want to extend your workday beyond the standard shift.
Nurse training programs will focus not only on the practicalities of being a nurse but also on how to manage your day as a nurse, which is essential for making an impact on patients.
When doing extra training classes, CPD courses, or even online programs like the online MSN-AGACNP program, nurses should ask tutors what they should do to strike a work and life balance. Many universities and colleges will have lots of resources to help nurses and may even run programs like these to help trainees learn how to strike a work-life balance.
Plan Your Time
By planning your schedule properly, you can analyze how many hours you need to do your tasks and responsibilities with the least amount of stress.
When planning your time, you must create routines for yourself that will help you continue to function regardless of your environment and surroundings. This includes things like attending to personal hygiene, taking breaks, and being active.
While this seems simple, nurses can often suffer from burnout. After all, they are required to get up early. They may have difficult patients, and a lot of training requirements are pressing on a small amount of time.
Nurses must know how to give themselves time for themselves and their families, especially when going home may seem like the last thing on their minds. You can also set up times in your daily tasks to take breaks, such as before and after meal times.
Delegate and Ask For Help
Asking for help is always hard for most people, but especially for nurses who have the mentality to always “do it yourself.” However, you should not be afraid to delegate your workload to other nurses or even your family when you feel overwhelmed.
One of the biggest misconceptions surrounding being a nurse is its portrayal as an easy job. The truth is that they have high responsibilities and a heavy workload that can easily feel overwhelming. Nurses need to ask for help so they can strike a work-life balance.
When working as a nurse, there are different patient cases and situations that you may not be able to handle on your own.
Make Time for Yourself
The idea of ‘me time’ is hard for many nurses to grasp. When you’re a nurse, it’s important to make time for yourself, whether that means going out with friends, using your vacation days, or doing activities to help you decompress and focus on self-care.
It is easy to let down your needs, especially when you feel you are helping others. However, allowing yourself the time to rest and recover is something that every nurse should do.
Nurses are no different from other workers because they need their personal time and the ability to take a break from their occupation. This is essential because it reduces stress levels which helps them perform better at work overall.
Flexibility is a major factor in balancing your work and life. Many other workers must be flexible in their schedules, especially those with children and family members. Nurses can also be flexible in their work and their life because they’re not obligated to work long hours.
This means that they can choose when they want to take a break, when they want to use their vacation days, or even when they want to see their families. Nurses must be able to strike a balance between work and life as much as possible so both aspects of their life will benefit tremendously from it.
Be Willing to Negotiate
Nurses should be able to negotiate their schedules with their managers and other senior nurses. Something as little as changing a shift can mean a lot for your well-being and your home life.
If you are looking for flexibility in your work, then you should be able to approach your manager about it.
You may be surprised when they see the benefit of letting you have more time at home. A good manager will listen to your requests and help make them a reality so that you can meet both of the needs that matter most to you: Work-life balance and job satisfaction.
Be Honest With Yourself
Being honest with yourself is something that many people struggle with in all aspects of their lives, but especially in the workplace. If you’re stressed and feeling overwhelmed by your job, then it’s important to take action early on.
Striking a work-life balance involves knowing when to focus on your tasks and when to allow yourself to relax for a few minutes to manage your stress levels. It’s important for nurses to know how they personally react to different situations so they can catch stress before it becomes too much for them.
Take Time Off When Needed
Nurses are expected to do a lot of work in a short amount of time. It is common for nurses to get overtime or work off the clock because they feel obligated to help their patients.
Taking the time off that you need can be difficult, especially if you’re on a tight schedule. However, striking a balance between your job and personal life is essential for your health and well-being.
Nurses need to take some time off when it’s needed so they will not end up excessively burning out from their profession. Taking the time that you need can also benefit your patients because it allows them to be monitored by other staff members during their recovery process.
Develop a Support Network
Support is something that many people in the world need, but only a certain small number of people have access to it, and, unfortunately, nurses battle with low job satisfaction and burnout constantly because of this.
Nurses should create a support network of friends and family members who are willing to listen to their needs and concerns about the workplace. This will allow you to relieve some of your stress levels, which can also relieve your patients because they will receive better care from other staff members.
Work-life balance is a battle that nurses fight every day. It will always be important for nurses to remain positive so they can be presentable, even under stressful situations at work. Being a nurse is difficult, but it can also bring out the best in you if you’re willing to find the positive in every situation.
Nurses unhappy with their job and work-life balance should be bold and speak out about it. This will help them find solutions to their problems to continue doing the best work possible.
Getting a good balance between work and life is an extremely important skill set for nurses, so they need to practice these tips to succeed in both aspects of their personal lives. Remember, there is no such thing as perfect.
Don’t Give Up
Nurses should never give up on a work-life balance because it is an important part of their job and can be extremely beneficial to them physically, mentally, and emotionally. Making balance a priority can be difficult, but getting used to it is essential because your patients will benefit from better care.
Balancing Life and Work During Nursing School
Balancing work and life as a nurse may be more difficult during nursing school because you’re dealing with so many other obligations.
In addition to your classwork and clinicals, you have to balance studying for exams, completing assignments, and studying for the NCLEX.
You also have to ensure you’re getting enough sleep and eating right to stay healthy. This can make it hard to keep up with your friends or do other activities that contribute to your personal life outside of work.
However, with a good strategy in place, it is possible to balance work and life during nursing school.
Facing The Challenges of A Poor Work-Life Balance
Balancing work and life as a nurse can be a challenge. When you’re working long hours and taking classes, it can be hard to find time for anything else.
In fact, if you’re not careful, you might end up with a poor work-life balance. This is especially true if you feel like you have to work extra hours regularly.
Work-life balance is about striking the ultimate balance between your professional life and personal life. No matter how busy or stressed you are, trying to find that perfect balance between work and home is important because of the toll it can take on your health, happiness, productivity, and stress levels.
Stress Can Affect Your Health
Burnout and mental health issues are becoming increasingly common among nurses. In fact, about one in five nurses said they’d experienced personal challenges like depression or anxiety due to their work.
Studies have shown that mental health issues are linked with burnout, which is the feeling of being overwhelmed by stress and exhaustion that can affect your mood, energy level, and overall well-being. This is especially true for those working in high-stress environments such as nursing – especially if you’re working more than 40 hours per week.
You can be more vulnerable to experiencing poor health due to excessive stress while working because of the physical and emotional demands on your body. You can burn out faster, feel less energized, and become more susceptible to other health issues.
Poor working conditions can also take a serious toll on your personal life. After experiencing long hours and demanding schedules, finding time for family, friends, and other activities you enjoy can be challenging.
Seeking Support When Things Get Hard
Your job as a nurse will be challenging. It will be hard work, physically and emotionally demanding, and it may hurt your mental health and well-being. That being said, there’s no reason you can’t strike a work-life balance.
To do this, you’ll need to be flexible, willing to delegate, ask for help, and make time for yourself. You should also be honest with yourself, so you know when things aren’t going as planned, and when the going gets tough, take some time off whenever possible.
Balancing work and life as a nurse can be difficult, but it’s important to remember that it doesn’t have to be stressful or overwhelming. Using these tips and seeking support from others when necessary, you can find your personal happy place between the two aspects of your life.
Balancing work and life is not always easy, especially when your job is physically and mentally demanding. Still, it’s possible if you set some boundaries and be flexible enough to handle numerous responsibilities.
By planning your time, delegating tasks, asking for help, making time for yourself, and making sure you have a realistic schedule.
By being honest with yourself about your efforts to balance work and life as a nurse, you can achieve the perfect balance between being a working nurse and enjoying the rest of your life.