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Importance Of Work-Life Balance For Nurses (Includes Tips)

Importance Of Work-Life Balance For Nurses (Includes Tips)

By Editorial Team | Updated On June 25, 2024
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Finding the right blend between office time and other areas of life is crucial for any worker. Without it, candidates can get stressed out and lose interest in their jobs, and in extreme cases, they can fall prey to burnout. Being a nurse, you never know when you can be needed in emergencies. Not to mention, many nurses have to work night shifts or rotating shifts, which also act as a further hindrance.

Do Nurses Have A Good Work-Life Balance?

Honestly, no one answer applies to this question. Each individual is unique and has a different role, lifestyle, preferences, ambitions, etc. Hence, whether or not they have a good work-life balance is variable.

Another factor that hinders some nurses from balancing their lives well is if they are employed in night shifts or rotating shifts. This can make it harder for them to spend time with family and friends, as most people work during the day. As a result, you have a scenario where, when you are working, they are at rest, and vice versa. It can also harm your health if proper self-care tips are not followed.

Weekend shifts can also be an issue when it comes to finding time to spend with family and friends. Your off days will be during the week when most people will be working, which will make it harder to spend time with loved ones. These individuals need to follow different routines and lifestyles, which sets them apart from the rest of the pack.

On the other hand, those who have day shifts and work on weekdays like everybody else tend to have a better work-life balance as a nurse. This improves their quality of life too, which may lead to better job satisfaction. Working day shifts is better for your health too, as your body is better functioning in line with the circadian rhythm.

Why You Need Better Work-Life Balance As A Nurse

Neglecting work-life balance as a nurse or in any profession can harm your career and well-being in the long run. Each worker, irrespective of their field of employment, needs it to have more stability in their lives. Let’s dive deeper into the subject and learn why nurses need to pay attention to work-life balance.

Setting An Example

Poorly balancing one’s life can lead to undue stress, affecting physical and mental health. A nurse is a medical professional who helps improve the health of patients. If they are not healthy themselves, they will struggle to win the confidence of patients. It will be hard for patients to trust the health advice of a nurse who is not fully healthy to begin with. Hence, a good nurse must practice what they preach by setting the right standards for patients to follow.

Preventing Burnout

A nurse with a good work-life balance will feel less stressed and unhappy at work. In modern times, mental health has become a hot topic in the medical field, with a sharp rise in cases of depression and psychiatric illnesses. The workplace is not immune to all the noise either, with burnout becoming increasingly reported in professional settings of all types.

Burnouts can lead to a decline in productivity and cause many individuals to struggle with holding down a job. Some individuals are prescribed medications to help them cope. The negative effects of burnout tend to carry over into other areas of life too. Hence, having a life outside of work is also crucial.

More Job Satisfaction

Job satisfaction is not just about liking the work you do but also the work environment, people you work with, routine, etc. You could be in the career you’ve always dreamt of but if you do not like the work environment or other factors, it may cause you to lose motivation for the job. There are many different types of nurses who have many variables that influence one’s fulfillment from the job.

It is not uncommon at all for issues outside of work to carry over into the professional lives of individuals. Not having a life outside work can be one of them. Hence, it is crucial to find the right work-life balance for a nurse. Having activities to take your focus away from work when necessary is always a big plus.

Bonding With Loved Ones

Having a good social life outside of work helps. This can include immediate family members and close friends. While it is good to have friends at work to help keep you more engaged, having a few people in your social circle outside work also helps. It also helps develop a stronger bond with friends and family members while simultaneously developing your social skills and helping you de-stress.

Tips For Nurses To Attain Work-Life Balance

Achieving a healthy work-life balance as a nurse is beneficial for helping you boost your longevity in this profession. Learning how to manage time outside of work is essential to helping one create a healthy lifestyle. It helps keep one’s life in order and allows them to function better in different areas of their lives. Here are a few things a nurse can follow to achieve work-life balance.

Prioritizing

One should allocate time outside of work wisely and not be wasteful with it. Too many individuals waste their leisure time on habits that are destructive to them. Very few individuals take the initiative to plan things out well and execute. Figure out what is important to you and do those tasks first.

For some individuals, time with family and friends can be of high importance. Others may have hobbies or side hustles that they are passionate about, and so on. The key is to ensure these habits are not harmful to you in any way. Avoid prioritizing habits like alcoholism, smoking, consumption of drugs, etc. These give you instant pleasure but create a sense of dependency and harm your physical health.

Use Technology Positively

Technology can be a great way to connect people who you may not be able to meet physically. Unfortunately, too many individuals waste their time on mobile phones or laptops without any real purpose. The internet can be addictive and a big waste of time, or it can help you grow and benefit you in your day-to-day life.

Using technology to interact with people can be great for individuals who cannot meet them in person due to work commitments. This is a common issue for night shift or weekend shift nurses. Avoid using social media to compare your life with others, as this can feel depressing and can also create a craving for validation. This can all lead to a lot of time being wasted.

Rest And Sleep

Workers need to recover well from a tough day’s work so you are recharged and ready to go again. Lack of proper rest and sleep can leave people feeling physically and mentally fatigued. Make sure you get around 8 hours of sleep daily to ensure the healthy functioning of the body. Lack of proper sleep also increases stress levels. This reduces performance and can also make some people feel edgy.

Set Boundaries

Ensure issues in one area of your life do not overflow into and negatively affect other areas. For example, many individuals carry problems from work over to their homes and vice versa. This creates tension in both areas and disturbs order in life. Hence, it is vital to have boundaries between different aspects of your life. This keeps it in order and also brings you more peace of mind.

Support System

Try and surround yourself with a group of positive people. This will boost your self-esteem and enthusiasm for life. It will also give you a refuge when things do not go as planned. In the end, human beings are social animals and need interaction in healthy amounts.

A good support system contains friends and family that understand you and the demands of your role. It is also crucial for you to reciprocate by understanding their needs and issues. This builds trust and mutual respect between all parties involved. A few co-workers who you are close to can also be part of your support system. Plus, being nurses themselves, they can offer better advice and guidance.

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