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Nursing is a highly demanding career, but as a nurse, you understand how difficult it can be to find the right work-life balance — especially if you have a family or other important obligations outside of work.

At times the drain on your physical and mental energy leave you feeling exhausted when your shift ends, and you feel as though finding the right work-life balance is impossible. However, it’s totally doable and essential for your livelihood and well-being.

Helpful tips to help you achieve a healthy work-life balance and a highly fulfilling nurse lifestyle.

Establish Your Priorities

Make a list of your highest personal priorities and take steps to make sure they are never neglected at any point in your career. For example, if your goal is to spend a few hours of quality time with your children every night, schedule a block of time in your day to ensure it happens. Likewise, eliminate things from your schedule or life that are unhealthy for you or do not support your long-term goals.

Build a Support System

It’s okay to ask for help when needed, and a support system is essential when you’re a nurse. For example, there may be times when you need to work extended hours and double shifts that trickle into your personal time and obligations. Friends, relatives, and other nurses can help you stay sane and step in to help and intervene when you need them the most.

Practice Self-Care

Sleep, nutrition, and exercise are all essential to staying healthy and happy and maintaining high energy levels. Take regular breaks at work, eat highly nutritious foods, and minimize caffeine intake, given how caffeine can increase stress and anxiety. In addition, take care of yourself outside of work by exercising regularly, getting plenty of quality sleep, and spending time with loved ones and friends who make you feel like your best self.

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Learn When To Say No

While it’s true that saying “no” at times can make you feel guilty and selfish, it’s essential to set boundaries to maintain the right work-life balance. Understand there may be times when saying “yes” could increase your stress levels or make it difficult for you to practice good self-care. So give yourself permission to say “no” when the situation calls for it, and do not allow yourself to feel any guilt or remorse. Saying no is essential to maintaining a great mood and finding a healthy work-life balance.

Simplify Your Life

If you feel stressed even after implementing healthy lifestyle behaviors, you may need to simplify your life further. Find ways to make specific tasks simpler, and work on eliminating major stressors from your life. For instance, you can share your workload with other nurses and start delegating a higher number of tasks or use grocery delivery apps and services that give you more free time outside of work.

Consider Working Remotely

The number of nurses who work remotely at home has risen tremendously in recent years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Nurses with chronic health conditions found it was safer to work at home to reduce their exposure to disease, while others needed to work from home to stay with their children during school closures and lockdowns.

If working from home could help you find the right work-life balance, look for remote nurse jobs and browse websites with plenty of career resources for nurses. You could also connect with other nurses on social media to gain referrals to healthcare systems hiring remote workers.

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