Working as a nurse can be physically and mentally challenging. Thus, you will want to make sure you feel better after a hard day at work. If you struggle with finding a good work-life balance then you have come to the right place. Today, you will find out all of the essentials you need as a nurse to make your work life easier. Plus, all of the tips you need to achieve a better balance between work and personal life.
Image by Darko Stojanovic from Pixabay
The right uniform
Ensuring that you have the right uniform will make your day go smoothly. Without the right tools and clothing, you can feel uncomfortable, which is not what you need for a long shift.
The right uniform for a nurse includes scrubs and comfortable shoes. Your shoes should be as comfortable as possible, it doesn’t matter what they look like. You will likely be on your feet all day so getting compression socks will be handy too. These will maintain good blood flow and prevent pain and varicose veins.
To maximize your money, you will want to shop around for affordable deals for uniforms. It needs to be of good quality yet can be affordable. You can find great deals at Uniform Advantage discount scrubs, from trousers to tops and jackets.
Having the right uniform will make you as comfortable as possible and get home after a long day and not feel in pain or more uncomfortable than you need to.
As a nurse, you will likely have an irregular shift pattern. Or, you might work extra long hours and not have the memory to remember what you need to do.
Therefore, having a diary will ensure that you can remember everything, write notes, and organize your time well.
In the diary, you should always write down your shifts hours, especially if they change from time to time. You will never be late for work or miss a shift. Missing a shift can impact your career and add stress to your personal life and finances.
Furthermore, you should also schedule and organize your free time. This will ensure that you have time to yourself and partake in activities and hobbies that make you happy. When you work long shifts, you might just want to rest, which is fine. However, you should make time to do things you enjoy to increase your happiness and wellbeing and improve your work-life balance.
You will likely carry a notepad around everywhere you go when you are on shift as a nurse. If so, you can use it for more than your work notes. If you suddenly think of something that you need to do outside of work, write it down so that you don’t forget. If you keep forgetting to do stuff, you will build up a long list of overdue errands, which will fill up your free time. Instead, staying organized will maximize your time outside of work.
The other benefit of having a notepad is that it will maximize your workplace notes and skills. When you learn something new, you should write it down. That way, you will never forget it and always be on top of your knowledge.
Take restorative breaks
Nurses work long shifts that often involve few breaks. Even if your breaks are frequent but short, you should maximize their efficiency. During breaks, you should ensure to rest and take the time to restore your energy.
Instead of rushing around during your break, you should sit down, collect your thoughts, and reenergize yourself. It will help to take snacks and pre-prepared meals so that you don’t need to spend your downtime making food. Likewise, you should always bring a drink with you so that you can rehydrate throughout the day.
Another tip for taking a restorative break is to practice meditation instead of running an errand. Taking time to restore your mental energy and balance will help you keep a calm mind and enhance your communication skills, which is essential for being a good nurse.
Accept the stress
The only disadvantage to being a nurse, or working in the healthcare industry, is that you have to accept the stress. You need to keep going and put the issues aside in order to maximize the health of your patients and the efficiency of the workplace.
Acknowledging and accepting stress will help you better cope and deal with your feelings. If you allow stress to pass over you and know that it won’t go away, then it will feel easier to deal with.
Every nurse should understand that mistakes can happen. Some things are not in your control, so you should not let them hinder your mood or affect your work.
Hone in your purpose
You are a nurse for a reason. You can go through the education and recognized that you want to help patients attain good health. Thus, you should define and hone in your purpose to make work feel less stressful and more purposeful.
Instead of stressing that you have a long shift ahead of you, think of the benefits. You should think of all of the people you will help throughout your shift and the positive impact on people’s lives.
Maintain a healthy lifestyle
Working long hours can sometimes result in lacking a healthy lifestyle. You may lack proper exercise and nutrition, which will affect your life outside of work. When you have spare time, you should think about your lifestyle and see where you can make improvements. For instance, you may recognize that you do not eat a healthy and balanced diet. Thus, you should figure out how to achieve that.
Prepping meals ahead of work will ensure that you have a healthy and balanced meal to enjoy on your breaks. You should ensure to include all of the food groups so that you attain the maximum nutrition. A balanced diet will improve your energy, help you attain a healthier lifestyle, and make you feel better about yourself.
Resolve conflicts as soon as possible
Whether a workplace or personal conflict arises, you should do your best to resolve it as soon as possible. Having issues lingering over your head will make your work and personal life more stressful than necessary.
When you resolve conflicts immediately, you can focus on your own happiness and ensure that you live and work in a calm state.
Strengthen workplace relationships
Outside of work, you will likely have strong relationships with your partner, friends, and family. However, at work, you might lack proper connections and relationships. To make work more enjoyable, you should become better friends with colleagues.
Having stronger workplace relationships means that you will enjoy work more and be able to talk to your colleagues if you ever have a problem.
Get plenty of rest
You will likely want to spend your free time resting, especially if you work long shifts. If you feel that your body needs rest, then ensure you rest.
Resting will allow you to recuperate your energy, which will be essential for personal life as well as work life.
If you feel that you need a rest when you are working, then you should do so when you take a break.
Learn to say no
At any job, you could be asked to work longer shifts to cover a colleague. However, you do not always have to say yes. If you feel overworked or need to run errands in your personal life, then you need to say no more.
Learning to say no will ensure that you can achieve a better work-life balance. A longer shift might mean that you miss your child’s birthday party, which could affect you and your child’s relationship. Therefore, saying no when it is necessary will ensure that you can live your life outside of work.
You will often be on your feet for most of your time as a nurse. However, this can be bad for your circulation and posture. To improve this, you should partake in regular exercise.
Even gentle exercises such as yoga and pilates will help boost your circulation, loosen any tension, and improve your posture.
Walking between shifts is enough to help you achieve a healthier physical self. 30 minutes of walking per day will provide great health benefits for your cardiovascular system. Walking in nature will clear your head and improve your mental wellbeing too.
Limit email access
As a nurse, you will have a personal email inbox that will require you to request prescriptions, reply to doctors, and respond to patient requests.
You should not respond to emails in your free time, it is not your time to work. Thus, you should limit your access to emails to make sure that you achieve a healthy work-life balance and don’t mix work with leisure time.
If you often find yourself replying to emails on the sofa from your personal phone, then you should get a work phone. Then, you will be able to switch off from work when your shift ends.
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