Healthcare workers often face demanding jobs and unique work stress. One year into the COVID-19 pandemic, Kaiser Family Foundation and the Washington Post conducted a survey among healthcare workers.
55% of those surveyed reported feeling burned out, and 49% felt anxious. These are high numbers, and healthcare workers must strive to achieve a healthy work-life balance for their own well-being and to minimize burnout. Here are five tips if you find yourself struggling with work-life balance.
Set a Reasonable Schedule
Working in health care often means working for an employer that is open 24/7. While on the one hand, this can provide a lot of flexibility around when you work, it can also mean being asked to work shifts on weekends, holidays, or on a different shift.
Recognize it is ok to say no sometimes and only pick up the number of shifts you can handle. Everyone needs to step away from work sometimes, and you shouldn’t feel pressure to pick up every open shift.
Use Your PTO
Breaks from work are healthy, and your PTO allows you to step away while still getting paid. Even if you don’t use your PTO for an out-of-town vacation, consider using it for a staycation.
Take a personal day here or there and do something for yourself. It can be as simple as a movie day at home or planning a day out in a nearby city. Taking care of your mental health is essential, and days off can help you feel recharged.
Johns Hopkins Health explains the many negative effects when you forgo sleep. They describe how you not only feel tired but how sleep deprivation can also impact your mood, memory, and overall health.
If stress is to blame, consider adding regular exercise to your day or trying journaling or meditation. If there’s a possibility the cause is related to a medical condition such as sleep apnea or insomnia, a call to a health care provider may be needed.
Practice Self Care
In order to provide great care to patients, it is important to also take care of yourself. This means exercising, eating healthy foods, and doing things you enjoy outside of work. For example, if you enjoy knitting or drawing, it is important to take the time to enjoy these activities regularly.
Seek Professional Help if Needed
While the four tips above are great measures to implement, professional help is sometimes needed. If you find yourself increasingly stressed, overwhelmed, or feeling depressed, it may be time to reach out to a counselor or therapist.
If you are in an immediate crisis, seek immediate medical care or call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) 988 Suicide and Crisis Hotline.
In need of a better work-life balance?
If you are seeking new opportunities, consider a contract staffing position with 365 Healthcare Staffing Services. They care about matching employees with the right company. They will listen to your needs and help you find a new role. Check out their open positions today to get started!