The Reality of a Healthy Work-Life Balance

Abby Schneider MSN, RN; Clinical Content Manager, AMN Healthcare

Work-Life Balance

At home and in your personal life there are daily tasks to complete. The mundane day-to-day things that must get done. Are you spending too much time on the routine tasks and not enough time on the things that you enjoy, that refresh your being? Do you take ample time for yourself; get enough sleep, have a hobby, or other interests to pursue? Do you bring work home; look at work emails, relive the day, worry about what you might have done wrong or did not get done?

At work, you have little to no control over the unforeseen challenges; however, how you deal with these challenges can make or break your day. Are you being perfectionistic? Perfection is necessary for patient safety, but excellent care in all other aspects of patient care can be achieved without perfection. Are you being critical instead of mentoring to excellence? Are you spending too much time listening to a “caustic” co-worker?

Focusing on the negative can sap your energy, while a positive focus can bring you a sense of achievement and satisfaction.
Below are a few tips for obtaining a sensible work life balance:
  1.   Let go of perfectionism: The more complicated your life, the less time there is for perfection. The
  healthier choice is to strive for excellence.
  2.   Disconnect from Technology: Technology keeps us in constant contact, shut off your phone and enjoy
  the moment.
  3.   Self-Care: Dedicate time during the week to self-care. Start with a few moments of deep breathing during
  the day to lift your spirits and calm your nerves.
  4.   Prioritize: Identify what is important in your life. Draw boundary lines so you have more time to devote to
   high-priority people and goals.
  5.   Restructure: Prioritize. Delegate in ways that benefit other people by giving them opportunities to grow.
   This will give them a chance to learn something new, while freeing you to devote time to your higher priorities.
  6.   Start small: Make a small change, experience success and then build on that success.

Having a healthy work/life balance is a possible but requires you to make it a priority to achieve and maintain. Start with small changes. Making small changes now can reap larger rewards in the future. It’s your life; make it the best it can be; your happiness and health count on it!

For more on stress reduction for nurses, check out the CE course, Managing Stress: A Guide for Healthcare Professionals at RN.com.

Boertje, J. & Ferron, L. (2013). Achieving a work-life balance. American Nurse Today. Retrieved from https://www.americannursetoday.com/achieving-a-work-life-balance-2/

Lee, D. (2014). 6 tips for better work life balance. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/deborahlee/2014/10/20/6-tips-for-better-work-life-balance/#5ff69a0529ff

Simmons, S. (2012). Striving for work-life balance. American Journal of Nursing: 112:1, pp. 25-26. doi: 10.1097/01.NAJ.0000410173.98529.f6.

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