As a nurse, it can be challenging to maintain a healthy work-life balance. Many nurses experience compassion fatigue, which may cause them to feel helpless, overwhelmed, and detached. This experience can be challenging because you may have lost the passion you once had for nursing. Not only can compassion fatigue impact your work life, but it may begin to impact other areas of your life as well.
We have created a list of tips that we hope can help you maintain a healthy work-life balance as a nurse.
Create a Schedule
Creating a schedule can be time-consuming, and a schedule works differently for everyone. Some people notice that breaking down their day into each hour helps them to stay organized. Others find that too tedious and instead mark events, such as appointments or birthdays. A cleaning schedule or dinner schedule can also help some. Creating a schedule can help you feel less overwhelmed with the things you have to do because you can visually see and check off everything. It can also help you to manage your time and prevent overscheduling yourself.
Practicing mindfulness is a great way to connect with yourself and your emotions. Different ways to practice mindfulness are meditation, yoga, or even mindful eating. You are working to focus on what you can see, hear, feel, smell, and taste to learn to slow down and teach yourself to recognize how you feel in stressful scenarios. It can be challenging and frustrating, but if you are consistent with the practice, you will begin to see your mind and body working in a beautiful new way.
Journaling is another way to recognize how you are feeling. When overwhelmed, it can be hard to understand why you feel burnt out or even realize how you feel. Taking the time to write in a journal allows you to release emotions and learn more about yourself. It is a good outlet because you process your emotions alone, without fear of judgment or guilt. It can be challenging to begin to journal, so I recommend finding journal prompts to get you started. From there, allow yourself to write anything and everything that comes to your mind. Journaling is a vulnerable time with yourself that helps to build a better connection with your mind.
Communicate Your Needs
Communicating your needs with your family, coworkers, or boss may be helpful to alleviate some stress. Others need to know how you are feeling so they can help you. It can also help others understand why you are potentially behaving differently. Stress can often make people hostile, emotional, or careless without noticing changes in their behavior. Hopefully, communicating what you feel and need from others will allow others to be more understanding or help you find time to take a break and relax. Therapy is also a great place to understand what you need and how to communicate it.
Do What Makes You Happy
Most importantly, focus on what makes you happy. It can sound so simple, but it can be hard to remember to put your happiness first. Remembering to carve out time to read, walk, spend time with your family, or do anything that brings you joy is beneficial for you and the others around you. It is so important to remember the little things and to reward yourself for everything you do.
Creating a healthy work-life balance as a nurse can be challenging, and it will look different for everyone. What works for you may not work for others, but that is okay. In no way is it a one-size-fits-all. It is beneficial to understand yourself and recognize your boundaries. It is also important to remember that you can say no to things people ask you to do to avoid overwhelming yourself.
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The information on this website is not medical advice. It is to be used exclusively for educational purposes and does not substitute for medical advice. If you are seeking advice, diagnoses, or treatment, please consult a medical professional or healthcare provider. We are not liable for risks or issues associated with using the information on our website.