Advice to Help Nurses Balance Work and Life
Having a work-life balance is more than just good time management. It takes self-discipline and self-knowledge to achieve the balance that brings both achievement and enjoyment, giving you a feeling of a well-rounded life.
Many people have difficulty in finding the right work-life balance, with nurses being most susceptible to ‘overdoing it’ - as much of their professional life is beyond control.
Whilst there is no escaping the changeable rotas and heavy workloads, there are ways to make it more manageable. Follow some of this advice for ways to get a happy medium between your work and your personal life.
Know your limitations
Nurses often have a bad habit of caring for everyone else except themselves. This sometimes leads to nurses ‘burning out’ with extreme fatigue.
To counter this, set limitations. This can mean saying no to that extra shift simply because you’re too tired. Remember, if you’re not taking care of yourself you can’t care properly for others.
Stress in a job can be a good thing and indeed some people thrive on it. But it’s important to be able to identify when it’s a problem.
When it does get a bit too much, talking through your work load or schedule with your superior may alleviate some of the burden.
Try agency work
A rising number of nurses are going from permanent work to agency. A report by the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) found that many employees in permanent work feel there is a better work-life balance and less stress in the temporary work offered by agencies.
It can be a bit of a gamble as you don’t have certain securities you get with permanent work, on the other hand it is much more flexible, allowing you to work around your life and not the other way around.
Apply for flexible working
Flexible working not only gives parents and carers new opportunities but it may be relevant to many people at some point of their career.
Employees may want alternative working patterns for such reasons as further education study, voluntary work, local government activities or other interests outside of work.
With employers being encouraged to accept and support applications for flexible working, this may be an ideal solution for those looking to free up some time to other pursuits outside of their main nursing role.
Work part time
This can be a refreshing option for those wanting to cut their working life down without giving it up completely. Maybe family commitments require you to be at home more or perhaps you simply just want a different work-life balance.
The difficulty here is that if you work less hours, this is reflected in your salary. Some nurses who have gone part time do agency work to supplement this at times that suit them best.
Take care of yourself
One of the most obvious yet basic ways to make a busy life manageable is to look after yourself. Eat well, make sure you get enough sleep and limiting alcohol are all things you know you should do - but are you living by them?
By making small adjustments you can make a big difference in your work and wellbeing.