Nurses are experiencing burnout like never before. If you’re a nurse experiencing burnout, sometimes the first step to address it is to examine your work/life balance habits. Actively think about your headspace and leisure time in the context of work/life balance because it’s the first step in decreasing stress. Switching up your daily routines and habits to prioritize a healthy work/life balance is a great place to start.

1. Separate home from work

When the stresses of work come home with you, it’s hard to find the mental space to appreciate the things you enjoy about life. To try and separate work from home, some people practice meditation, others practice deep breathing, and others just need a hobby to help them refocus away from their work stress. Either way, taking your work headspace and home headspace seriously is a productive first step.

2. Pick up a hobby

Nurses with a strong work/life balance often have a hobby or two that keep them active at home. Keeping your mind and body active and productive can help make work feel less overwhelming. Scheduling time for physical fitness is a great way to give yourself some time to put away work stressors, get much-needed exercise, and give you a productive activity outside of the facility. Some nurses even pick up side gigs that can earn them extra money if they work per diem.

Active Hobbies

Activities like Yoga and jogging are low-cost and low-maintenance if you’re looking for an easy, socially-distanced way to get active. Whether it’s following yoga videos online or joining an outdoor boot camp, there are plenty of options out there to balance out your work and home life, and it might not be a bad idea to include a work friend if you’re trying a new activity for the first time!

Relaxing Hobbies

Maybe the intensity of a new workout routine just isn’t what you’re looking for out of a hobby. In that case, there are still plenty of options. From book clubs to knitting groups, whether it’s online or in-person, you have relaxing activities available to you that can help you achieve a positive work/life balance. Not to mention that many of these activities you can do in the peace and quiet of your own home! Some relaxing hobbies include painting, reading, knitting, or doing puzzles, all of which can give you a new sense of achievement and fulfillment outside of the nursing facility. 

3. Take breaks

Take breaks during your shift! It’s crucial to your mental health and your ability to provide quality care to give yourself a chance to rest and reset, even if it’s just for a few minutes. Taking breaks is also an essential piece of productive work. If your manager is overworked and loses sight of the need for breaks, it’s okay to remind them that taking a quick break to reset is okay. Letting them know they can take a break will open the door for you to talk about breaks during your shifts.

4. Start a conversation

Nursing professionals have had an exceptionally tough year. They risk their lives to work short-staffed during the pandemic, put in extra effort to cheer up residents, and manage their own mental health in a thankless job. And let’s be honest, nursing facilities have gotten the short end of the stick when it comes to the pandemic response – getting a lot of the blame and not a lot of support. It’s no wonder that the nursing facility environment can be a stressful and overwhelming one. 

If you’re feeling overworked at your facility, there’s a good chance that others are too. And it’s true that overburdened, stressed-out nurses can lead to costly mistakes at work. So don’t be afraid to start a dialogue with your facility’s management team to try and implement recognition programs, and actively facilitate a positive social atmosphere with co-workers, residents, and management alike.

At IntelyCare, we’re empowering healthcare heroes like you to transform the way you work. As an IntelyPro, you can take control of your work schedule and get the chance to earn more with competitive pay rates. With freedom and flexibility, you can take more time to focus on your work/life balance. Apply to become an IntelyPro here!