At SwingShift Nurses, we believe in the importance of time management for busy nurses, and it is our goal that when you choose to join our nursing agency, you’ll get back your time and perfect that work-life balance.
All work and no play is never much fun!
Nurses lead busy lives, as we’re sure most of you will agree. Medical professions tend to be high-energy and challenging at times… and nursing is no exception!
Unfortunately, we see far too many nurses struggling to make time for themselves – away from work – with rates of mental illness amongst nurses and other medical professionals ranking among the highest in the country.
Maintaining a work-life balance
Work-life balance is important in any career, but it’s especially important for nurses. With so much happening in a nurse’s working life, every moment of time with family, friends – and yourself! – becomes an immensely valuable moment to take a step away from the workplace and enjoy the “now”.
A healthy work-life balance isn’t just great for your mental health, though – it’s also great for your patients! After all, how are you meant to look after all your patients if you’re not looking after yourself?
This week, we’ve compiled a list of tips that can help you achieve that ideal work-life balance you seek.
Are you looking for more flexible nursing opportunities that allow you to take back control of your time? We would love to welcome you to the SwingShift Nurses family! Join now.
In the words of Tom and Donna, “treat yo self!”
There’s nothing wrong with being selfish when it comes to your health… especially when the health of dozens more hinges on yours.
Treating yourself triggers your brain’s reward system, and prompts your brain to release sweet, sweet dopamine. Dopamine is like a silver bullet against fatigue, mood swings, and general feelings of low motivation. In fact, low levels of this compound have been linked to clinical depression.
In other words, dopamine is what keeps us motivated and what gets us out of bed in the morning.
So take a little time for yourself to keep your dopamine levels high! It doesn’t even have to be as extravagant as a spa trip; something as simple as treating yourself to a night with friends or a dinner at your favourite local restaurant (that you have perhaps been putting off for weeks) are such simple yet underrated ways to destress and get those positive vibes flowing.
Connect with others
One of the first things that takes a hit when you work-life balance is out of whack is your social life.
Unlike many other career paths, some nurses work shifts beyond the traditional 9am-5pm scheme that others are so used to. These sorts of shifts can hinder your social life: after all, it’s hard to make time for friends and family when your shifts are all over the place!
For the sake of your health, we strongly recommend making time to connect with others – be it your friends, family or your colleagues. Schedule in a phone conversation for a good old chat, go for a walk, or even arrange a quick meet-up over coffee if you’re pressed for time.
Whether you tackle night shifts weekly or more sporadically, it’s important to prepare for them. Take specific measures to ensure you are well rested leading up to a shift, stay fueled throughout, and stay safe when you’re on your way home: those who work night shifts are at a higher risk of a drowsy driving-related incident.
“What do you like to do in your spare time?”
It’s a question that always pops up, from job interviews to new friends, and somewhat embarrassingly, it can sometimes be hard to answer!
Having a hobby isn’t just a great way to pass the time – it’s also one of the best ways you can unwind and fight back against the stresses that come along with your job!
Whether it’s music, arts-and-crafts, sports, baking, hitting the gym, or learning a language, hobbies are great for your mental health.
Your favourite hobbies are nothing short of a positive impact on your work-life balance, too! Don’t forget that while you’re trying to manageably juggle time between work and your life at home, a huge part of home life is your ”me” time!
Set a growth plan to keep you focused and motivated
It’s always great to live your life with clear goals in mind. But did you know that having a plan is also an effective way of maintaining your mental wellbeing?
Setting goals for yourself creates drive and motivation. So develop a plan for yourself!
On top of that, properly planning your time can be a huge help in maintaining a healthy balance between your career, your family, your friends, and your own private time.
So for the sake of your own health, start putting together a realistic goal or plan for yourself – both personally and professionally.
See the difference a bit of direction can make not just with your mental wellbeing, but also in finding ways to effectively make time for the other things in your life, even something as simple as “going for a 30-minute walk every Saturday morning”!
Deal with fatigue by improve sleep patterns
Some nurses develop a sense of pride in their ability to endure a difficult working environment. And that’s great! But if you don’t, there’s no need to feel ashamed.
In fact, if you feel the pressure of the workplace getting to you, don’t take it as a sign you’re not keeping up. Instead, take it as a sign that you may be fatigued and are in desperate need of some new habits to make (and old habits to break).
This is especially relevant for nurses working night shifts. After all, your body is hardwired to feel sleepier when it’s dark and alert when it’s light; working night shifts can throw your body’s natural circadian rhythm out of sync, making good-quality rest harder to achieve.
Sleep is an essential part of your work-life balance, and the links between rest and overall health are prevalent.
So if you value your mental and physical wellbeing and a healthy work-life balance, there’s no excuse for neglecting your sleep cycle!
Travel and explore
The simple reality: a change in scenery breaks up the monotony of your routine, first and foremost. More importantly however, a trip can be the most potent triggers for your brain’s reward system. Remember what we said about rewards, dopamine and mental wellbeing above?
On top of that, travelling is the ultimate type of away time and one of the best ways to spend time with your friends and family you wouldn’t normally get. After all, there’s no work to distract you when you’re on the other side of the country or halfway around the world, is there?
Treat yourself to a trip – even if it’s a weekend away to a country retreat three hours out of the city.
Create your ideal work-life balance with SwingShift Nurses
At SwingShift Nurses, we want all nurses to have the power to create their own work-life balance. Whether that’s creating a lifestyle that fits around kids, family, friends, holidays, or anything else!
Your work-life balance and mental wellbeing as a nurse are arguably the most important factors that impact how well you perform as a nurse!
That’s why we make it our mission to offer flexible working arrangements for all nurses who choose to work through SwingShift Nurses. It’s in our name, after all!
Take back control of your work-life balance with SwingShift Nurses! Join the family today.