Balancing family life and work can be difficult for any professional. However, this is especially true for nurses. For instance, if a nurse is struggling with personal matters or family illness, her work performance might be compromised. This same nurse might not be also able to attend family functions due to work.
That’s why you should be able to implement strategies to support the needs of your family and your patients. Here are 7 ways that will help you and your fellow nurses get through:
- Set limitations. It is difficult for nurses to learn to say “no.” Typically, nurses define themselves by being able to accomplish everything. Yet they end up caring for everyone else except themselves. This can lead to nursing burnout and fatigue, so the first step is learning to set limitations on what you can do. This means saying no to an extra shift if a child has a sporting event or simply because you are too fatigued.
- Learn to delegate appropriately. Nurses do not have to be superhuman. If they are working, they can ask their spouse or their child to assist with household chores.
- Take time out for yourself. When nurses have a day off, it is important to do something that they enjoy. An occasional day of rest or window-shopping can allow the body to take a break from caregiving. In turn, job performance is likely to improve.
- Dine out on occasion or cook ahead. After an 8 or 12-hour shift, preparing a meal can be overwhelming. Therefore, occasionally eating out might relieve this stress. Likewise, some nurses report that they cook ahead. That way, after their work day, all they have to do is to heat up the dish and voila, dinner is ready!
- Do household chores intermittently. Many nurses feel report feeling overwhelmed if they allow all of their household duties to build up. In turn, on their days off, they are faced with housework rather than leisure. So if you cannot delegate to spouses or children, opt to do maybe one chore a day.
- Do not afraid to ask for help. As discussed earlier, many nurses feel as if they are “superhuman.” This false impression can result in bitterness and burnout. Asking for help can be an easy solution. For instance, a mother can ask her school-age child to have his or her bath done by the end of the day. Tell the child that this will be a great help. Doing this will make the child feel independent and valuable.
Remember that caring for patients is fulfilling but exhausting. This exhaustion can be detrimental to job performance and to personal relationships.
Therefore, it is essential that nurses have coping strategies in hand to help them balance work and family. Nurses are wonderful at caring for their patients; they are passionate about that. In order for them to be successful in balancing work and home life, they need to treat themselves as they would their patients. They should follow these strategies to achieve a happy family life and fulfilled career.