There is no denying that achieving a work-life balance is vital for every individual, irrespective of the profession. Not being able to do so can adversely affect work productivity, personal relationships, physical and mental health. Unfortunately, maintaining a work-life balance is even more challenging for nursing professionals.
Nursing is the most demanding yet gratifying profession in the healthcare industry. Nurses are responsible for providing quality care to patients. How can they offer the best-quality care if they feel burned out? In a stressful work schedule, the balance between work and life might get compromised. That is why nurses need to adopt practices that help them maintain a work-life balance. Nurse leaders, mainly, must set an example of a healthy work-life balance. It is because leaders are usually role models for their team members. So are you a nurse leader and always feel like juggling to balance work and life properly? No worries. Read on below to learn some tips that can help you achieve ideal work-life balance:
Avail Online Education Opportunities
Today, with advancements in the latest technologies and discoveries each day, the healthcare industry landscape has transformed significantly. Since nurses are the frontline workers in the healthcare sector, they must continue their education to keep up with the latest knowledge and practices. Only then can they provide good care to their patients and improve the overall outcome. Most nurses find it hard to enroll in further education because of their hectic schedules. Fortunately, many educational institutes offer aspiring individuals to earn an advanced degree by enrolling in online education programs. Therefore, you can opt for online DNP programs and take your nursing leadership career to the next level. In addition, online education gives students the flexibility to learn at their pace and from the comfort of their homes.
Manage Time Effectively
As a nurse leader, you may find it extremely difficult to manage time since you have many responsibilities. However, without effective management, it’s impossible to achieve a healthy work-life balance. It is no secret that your job requires you to have a busy schedule but failing to manage your time can lead to overtime. As a result, you might even have to cut down on your relaxation time. A good practice is to spend time with family members. Discuss the personal life expectations and set a plan. At the workplace, make sure to set a time limit with your patients. Also, prioritize your everyday tasks and arrive 15 minutes before your work-time to schedule and manage effectively.
Define Your Boundaries
All your self-care will fall by the wayside if you aren’t setting boundaries. Poor boundaries may cause other people to take advantage of you or take you for granted. As a result, you will feel depressed, hurt, angered, or stressed. It’s impossible to lead your team or provide optimum care to the patients in this emotional state. Moreover, many nurse leaders often feel obliged to say yes at the workplace because of their leadership role. For instance, they have to accept every project or task even if it may lead to physical and emotional draining. Thus, nurses must identify their limits and set boundaries accordingly.
It’s impossible to live a healthy lifestyle and enjoy your professional and personal life if you constantly feel restless and agitated. That is why getting quality sleep each night is essential. In addition, lack of sleep can affect your work and personal relationships significantly. There are higher chances of medical errors and affect your overall work performance. Furthermore, without proper quality sleep, you experience mood swings that can negatively affect your personal life. Therefore, make sure to get 8 hours of quality sleep every night to revitalize your mind and body each morning for the upcoming challenges. A best practice is to avoid technology and caffeine intake before your bedtime. It would be best if you also established a regular sleep routine. Moreover, make sure to don’t mull over the negative events you experienced throughout the day. Instead, recount all the positive things to improve your sleep quality.
Develop Good Relationships
Suppose your work schedule isn’t allowing you to spend quality time with your friends or family members. Chances are you will feel emotionally drained out or distracted in both cases. Therefore, maintain stronger relationships, both at work and personal life, to live healthily. You can take some time from your busy schedule to spend with your loved ones and form a strong social connection. Even if you don’t have much time, you can plan a meal together or enjoy a time doing some fun-filled activity. At work, make sure to engage in only necessary conversations and avoid conflict to maintain healthy and lasting relations.
As a nurse, you will be dealing with patients from different walks of life daily, which may significantly affect your emotional health. In addition, nurses are more vulnerable to stress, depression, or anxiety because of their job. Therefore, to keep your mental health in check, make sure to invest some time in working out. Exercising is the best inexpensive and natural remedy to improve your physical and psychological health. But are you feeling reluctant to get your feet on the treadmill because of your long and demanding work? No need to worry. You can relieve your stress without joining a gym. Walking for 10-minute during your break time or doing yoga early in the morning is sufficient to relax your mind and body. You can also choose to take the stairs throughout the day instead of elevators
Maintaining healthy work and life balance is not an easy feat for nurses. However, prioritizing one aspect can have a detrimental effect on the other. The primary concern for nurses is to care for others. But that is only possible if they are making time to take care of themselves. Nurse leaders are constantly experiencing emergencies, growing patient demands, and staff shortages. However, with a positive mindset and determination, nurse leaders can play an influential role in maintaining the work-life balance in a healthcare setting. Moreover, while all these tips may sound pleasing to you, it is advisable to take one step at a time. Make sure to evaluate the results of each tip as it will keep you motivated to achieve a constant work-life balance.