Caring for other people can sometimes affect you emotionally and physically. However, it's important to always take care of yourself and your families too.
Achieving a healthy work-life balance for nurses can be challenging at times, especially in a profession where we are so used to putting the needs of others before our own, it’s our second nature after all.
Neglecting to care for ourselves can be a trap we can easily fall into. Often, the pressures of a career in nursing combined with working outside of the traditional Monday to Friday 9-5 pattern can make the ideology of achieving a working life balance seem impossible.
At Pulse Nursing at Home, we recognise that traditional working patterns don’t suit everyone. We encourage and enable flexible working hours and family-friendly working. We have recently joined the Mumsnet Flexible Employer Programme, which focuses on helping businesses achieve a work-life balance for their employees.
Mumsnet is the largest network for parents in the UK. Their website allows users to share advice and information on topics such as parenting and flexible working. They aim to support parents who want to acquire a flexible work-life balance.
The Nurse and Midwifery Council's research shows nurses are happier and more fulfilled when working in a role that meets their values and priorities. Agency working can support individuals to achieve flexible working, and allow healthcare professionals to spend more time with their families whilst striking a work-life balance.
At Pulse Nursing at Home, nurses can choose their shift patterns and select their desired shifts to suit their lifestyle. Being able to take ownership over their work pattern is a great start to striking the holy grail of a work-life balance.
Why is a work life balance so important?
Failing to achieve a healthy work-life balance can lead to neglecting certain aspects of your personal life. This can contribute to several factors such as stress, anxiety, depression and poor mental health.
This year we have chosen to sponsor the mental health charity, Mind to support both employers and employees to achieve a healthier work-life balance that benefits everyone's mental health.
How to achieve a healthy work-life balance
Getting the balance right between your work and personal life can be quite difficult. But implementing the following strategies can help you to achieve a healthy balance and enjoy your work and personal life more.
Get enough sleep:
This is one very simple but a crucial factor that affects both your personal and work life. You can achieve better sleep by implementing good daily habits, such as going to bed at the same time every day and making sure before bed you spend time relaxing and winding down. We know this can be incredibly difficult when working different shifts. But it can also be very beneficial to your health.
It’s important to avoid screen time, whether it’s your phone or TV, using either will keep your brain awake for hours. It’s also worth mentioning it can take up to four hours for your brain to fall asleep after you have stopped using an electronic device.
Try to stay clear of any stimulants such as alcohol and caffeine. They are both contributing factors that can affect your sleep. For nurses who work rotating shifts, it’s important to get as much sleep as possible to ensure you feel ready for the working day ahead.
Exercise is important for your physical and mental health. It’s often the first thing to fall off the to-do list when things get busy. However, it’s one of the most essential factors for keeping stress at bay.
When you exercise, your body releases endorphins which make you feel better and more energised. Even if you can’t commit to that weekly gym class or a daily jog, there are plenty of other things you can implement into your routine that might be easier for your lifestyle. Simply taking a short walk in your break, doing some gardening or cleaning can burn a lot more calories than you think!
Communication is such a simple yet effective thing. Talking with family and friends regularly can relieve stress and combat any problems you’ve been having.
Even though we spend most of our time talking, it's quite common for lots of people to find it difficult to open up and talk about their struggles. Talking about your problems can be scary at first. But once you do it and speak to someone you trust; a massive weight will lift off your shoulders and you will find a problem shared is a problem halved.
At Pulse Nursing at Home, our community workers can seek confidence and support from our dedicated supervisions and appraisals team. They also have access to our workshops that focus on promoting emotional health and resilience in the workplace to improve staff well-being and productivity.
Creating defined boundaries between your work and home life is so important. Try to not let your work spill over into your personal life, which we know can be incredibly hard. If possible, try to use your journey home to mentally and physically wind down. Whether it’s reading a book, listening to music or looking out of the train window, it’s important to take a step back and relax after a hard day.
Nurses who spend time looking after themselves will be in a better place to look after others. It’s always important to make time for yourself when working as a nurse, spending time looking after other people can be challenging at times, but extremely rewarding.
If you are interested in joining our community and achieving a healthy work-life balance please contact our team on 0207 959 1003 or register with us today here.