Everybody knows that nursing is a full-on job. Long hours, changing shift patterns and an endless stream of patients with different needs make it one of the toughest gigs out there. Which is why it is important that nurses really nail a good work-life balance.
Now, maintaining a good work-life balance as a nurse is no easy feat, we’ll give you that, but, it is something that you should work on and be mindful of. Putting a little effort into balancing your work life and home life will pay dividends further down the line and have a seriously positive impact on your happiness and health.
There are several different ways to accomplish a positive work-life balance. We’ve compiled a few helpful tips below to give you some inspiration and encourage you to get your work-life balance sorted.
Giveaway signs of an unhealthy work-life balance
Working long hours and feeling unhappy about time spent at work
The Mental Health Foundation has found that as weekly hours increased, so did the unhappiness of employees. In one of their survey’s, they found that a quarter of employees admitted feeling depressed (27%), one third felt anxious (34%), and more than half felt irritable (58%).
The survey also found that many more women report unhappiness than men (42% of women compared with 29% of men), which is probably a consequence of competing life roles and more pressure to 'juggle'
Neglecting aspects of life outside of work
Over 40% of employees polled said they were neglecting other aspects of their life because of work, which may increase their vulnerability to mental health problems.
The survey also identified that nearly two-thirds of employees have experienced a negative effect on their personal life, including lack of personal development, physical and mental health problems, and poor relationships and poor home life.
Constantly worrying about work
The more hours you spend at work, the more hours outside of work you are likely to spend thinking or worrying about it.
According to a different report by the CPID a quarter of those surveyed (24%) admit it’s difficult to relax in their own time because they are thinking about work and that their job affects their personal commitments (26%).
How can you help yourself?
There are a number of steps you can take to help yourself achieve a great work-life balance. Some of the following may help you achieve this:
Taking responsibility for your work-life balance
It's ok to say 'No'. Speak up when work expectations and demands are too much. It is important that employers are made to be aware of when and where pressures lie so that they can be addressed.
Taking proper breaks at work
We know this can be a tough one for nurses, but with such large volumes of high-priority work, it’s important to take a break, recharge and rehydrate whenever possible.
Relax and recharge
Take seriously the link between work-related stress and mental ill-health. Reduce stress by doing something that you enjoy for example exercise, relaxation, or hobbies.
Keep an eye on your working hours
Working too much can put a strain on your personal life. Keep track of your working hours over a period of weeks or months. Try to take account of hours spent worrying or thinking about work when looking at your work-life balance. These are good indicators of work-related stress. If you are struggling with the number of hours you’re working or even your shift patterns MedGen can offer flexible shifts to fit in around existing commitments and priorities with no minimum time requirement.
If you’re grappling with a poor work-life split and looking to realign the balance, then contact MedGen today. We have an abundance of shifts across the country for a number of specialisms and offer our nurses true flexible working. Our nurses choose their own schedule and work as much or as little as they like and can even choose the shifts they prefer too. Register today and see how we can help you get the shifts you want.