As a dedicated nurse or PA, it can be challenging to balance the demands of your professional and home life in ways that let you stay inspired at the end of each day. But without this ability, you risk joining the growing number of professionals suffering from burnout, which leaves you unable to nurture either aspect of your life. Many feel like they have to sacrifice one or another: family or career.
So, to help you avoid this choice, we’ve compiled some tips on how to keep the demands of your private and professional life in balance, in a way that won’t hurt your career and leaves you with time and energy to enjoy your family life as well:
Acknowledge, Manage and Reduce Stress Levels
According to the American Psychological Association, chronic stress negatively impacts all of the major systems in the human body. Practice self-care and:
Take time to identify what some key things are that are causing you stress. Are things at work not being done efficiently? Are you always late for appointments? Are you missing key family moments? Performing this audit will help you put a face to your stressors, and this is half the battle won.
From this audit, identify what your priorities are. What are the key things you would like to achieve each week that address some stressors? Set up a calendar and represent your typical week, dedicating time to your top 3 activities. Start by scheduling your least flexible responsibilities and work around them. Consider adjusting your schedule and winning extra time by waking up one hour earlier each day, and importantly, include at least 15 minutes for a self-care ritual each day.
Sometimes things can get busy, and life becomes necessarily unbalanced for a while. During these times, it’s important not to eliminate your routine entirely, but rather maintain a reduced version of the habits that nourish you. This makes meeting demand sustainable. For instance, commit to one yoga session for that week instead of two, or meet your friend for a 45-minute coffee instead of a long dinner. Have some exercise routines ready that adjust just as well to those busy times, to ensure you never do away with the things that support your health and work-life balance entirely.
Develop and Leverage Your Support Network
Build collective routines with your trusted network of family and friends that support all of you. For instance, consider sharing childcare by setting up a babysitting circle, where everyone takes a turn to look after the kids. This constructively engineers some guilt-free time, because the children are having a playdate — after all, which child doesn’t love playdates? Just one extra afternoon to yourself each week could mean the difference between feeling snowed under, and remaining on top of your professional and personal world.
Set Clear Boundaries and Manage Expectations
In short: learn to say ‘no’. Establish clear boundaries with your family and employer about what can be expected from you. Set time aside to check in with yourself: identify your needs and capabilities, consider what demands are placed on you, and identify your priorities.
Then begin managing the expectations of those wanting you to deliver of your attention, skills and time. Establish fair boundaries upfront about what you’re willing and able to do. This allows you space to build the routines you need to reliably deliver on the responsibilities you’ve committed to.
Skill-Up and Change Your Work Environment
Changing your work environment can be the biggest factor supporting your quest for a balanced life. As a nurse/PA, changing to private practice may increase your quality of life significantly. The team in private practices usually works traditional office hours and rarely needs to work weekends or after hours. However, the demand for these positions is high, especially as they can be associated with better income!
In order to position yourself for the change, you need to maintain the professional edge with additional speciality training. If you are a practitioner with an interest in skin and beauty, you may consider a career in a Dermatology practice. The Advanced Training in Dermatology program provides the training to demonstrate your advanced knowledge and commitment to the speciality, making you more hireable.
Speak to us today, to find out how this simple course could shift the balance for you towards the integrated lifestyle you’re searching for.