Anyone who has been a nurse for any length of time will know that it is in no way an easy job to do, Caring for people when they are at their most vulnerable is an amazing thing to do, but it is also something that can take a toll on your physical, and especially mental, health over time.
It is, then, not so suprising that nursing burnout is a very real threat it anyone who works in this caring profession, That being the case, let’s look at a few things all of you dedicated nurses out there can do to avoid crashing and burning.
1. Rotate Those Wheels!
No, I’m not suggesting you become an auto mechanic on the side. Change is as good as a vacation, right? Well, in the world of nursing, it might just be. Consider switching departments every once in a while. If you’ve always been in pediatrics, why not dip your toes in geriatrics? It’ll offer a fresh perspective and different challenges to keep you engaged.
2. A Little R&R Never Hurt Anyone
Regular breaks are essential. And I don’t just mean those five minutes you sneak into the break room for a cup of coffee. Take your days off seriously. No checking work emails or thinking about those charts. Disconnect, and maybe even take a short vacay!
3. Speak Up
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, talk to your supervisor. They don’t have x-ray vision (well, hopefully not) to see how you’re feeling. They might offer solutions you hadn’t considered.
4. Dive into Travel Nursing
Been bitten by the travel bug but think you can’t jet off because of your career? Think again! With travel nursing jobs, you can merge your passion for nursing with your wanderlust. You get to see new places, meet fantastic people, and keep your nursing game strong, all while getting paid. Sounds like a win-win!
5. The Buddy System
Having a work buddy to vent to can be therapeutic. They understand the unique challenges of the job and can offer a sympathetic ear or some solid advice. Just be sure these venting sessions don’t turn into full-blown complaint festivals. A little goes a long way!
6. Keep Learning
They say change is as good as a rest. So, consider adding a few more tools to your professional toolkit as a nurse. Attend seminars, take up additional courses, or gain a new certification. It breaks the monotony and makes you even more of a force to be reckoned with in the medical field.
7. Healthy Body, Healthy Mind
Yes, yes, you’ve probably heard this a million times. But there’s a reason for that. A well-balanced diet, a bit of exercise (even if it’s just dancing around your living room to 80’s hits), and proper sleep can work wonders for your mental state.
8. Set Boundaries
I know, as nurses, we often want to save the world. But sometimes, you have to say ‘no’ or delegate tasks. There’s no award for running yourself ragged – trust me, I checked.
9. Hobbies: Not Just for Kids!
Remember that thing you loved doing before nursing school took over your life? Be it painting, hiking, or playing the kazoo, pick it back up! Hobbies are a great way to relax and shift your focus.
Being a nurse is not always easy, but it is always very rewarding, and with the tips above in your self-care arsenal, you can avoid the burnout that turns a fulfilling job into something that causes you pain. Look after yourselves!