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What Does Proper Work-Life Balance Look Like in the World of Healthcare?

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As a professional in any industry, finding the perfect work-life balance in your schedule can be a difficult task. This is especially true if you work in healthcare, with professionals in this field having some of the most demanding roles in the job market. 

Fortunately, however, finding an amazing work-life balance as a healthcare worker is possible if you take the right steps to cultivate more contentment in both your work life and your personal life. From robust nursing strategies to practical relaxation tips, understanding how to approach work-life balance as a healthcare worker can revolutionise your life. 

Here’s what proper work-life balance looks like in the world of healthcare. 

Understanding the barriers to great work-life balance in healthcare

Before diving into key tactics for bolstering your work-life balance, it can help to get some context about why this is such a difficult feat for healthcare workers. 

Some key challenges that healthcare workers face which make it difficult to cultivate good work-life balance include:

  • Gruelling schedules. Though healthcare careers are broad and come in many different forms, a significant number of healthcare workers have difficult work schedules. From working long shifts to having to change one’s sleeping schedule constantly; these difficult schedules limit the amount of control healthcare workers have in their personal lives.
  • Stressful situations. Whether you’re a nurse, doctor, or healthcare administrator, you no doubt experience a remarkable number of stressful predicaments in your working life. As a result, relaxing and enjoying your leisure time once your shift ends can often be easier said than done.
  • Burnout. While stress refers to feelings as a response to specific situations, burnout is a more all-encompassing and exhausting experience. Due to factors such as crazy schedules, worker shortages, and high-stress environments, many healthcare workers are at a high risk of experiencing burnout. 

While these challenges can be significant, there are ways to tackle them head-on and bolster your chances of successfully cultivating great work-life balance. So, whether you’re a nurse searching for the best state to work in or an aspiring doctor finishing up school, understanding key tactics for good work-life balance can be extremely beneficial. 

Strategies for great work-life balance in healthcare

Now that you have a clear idea of what obstacles typically stand in the way of healthcare workers having great work-life balance, you’ll be in a better position to effectively utilise some key strategies. 

Here are strategies for great work-life balance in healthcare. 

Let work end when you clock out 

For many healthcare workers, compartmentalising work and personal life can be extremely difficult. Specifically, many healthcare workers continue to think about work and feel the stress associated with it after clocking off. 

Though it can sometimes be tricky to shed this habit, there are key tips that you can utilise to set clear boundaries and leave work at the workplace. 

Some effective tips include:

  • Meditation. Though it may seem over the top, taking a few minutes to meditate every time you leave work can help your mind and body process that you’re transitioning into a different way of being. While a longer session can be beneficial, even taking a few minutes to close your eyes, breathe deeply, and destress can make it easier to leave your healthcare work at the medical institution.
  • Exercise. It’s been said that emotions and memories are harboured in the body. For healthcare workers, this means that getting some physical activity in after a shift can help shake off the stress of working in healthcare. 

Prioritise self-care

When healthcare workers are burnt out and trying to keep up with a hectic schedule, they often forget to invest time and energy into self-care. However, self-care can greatly increase your work-life balance and leave you more content with both your work life and your personal life. 

Some great ways to prioritise self-care include:

  • Massages. Though they’re sometimes viewed as a frivolous luxury, massages can help healthcare workers relax and release tension in a significant way. As such, all healthcare workers can experience a boost in work-life balance by making time for massages. 
  • Great sleep. From investing in a new mattress to outfitting your bedroom with black-out curtains, taking measures to improve your sleep will improve your life in a myriad of ways. From being better able to handle stress at work to feeling more present during your off-time, great sleep will have an amazing effect on your work-life balance. 

All healthcare workers need to prioritise work-life balance

Sadly, masses of healthcare workers currently feel like they don’t have good work-life balance. Thankfully, there are ways for healthcare workers of all types to improve their work-life balance and feel happier at work and at home. 

From becoming more skilled at separating work from personal life to investing more in self-care, healthcare workers have the power to become more content. As more awareness is spread about this issue and more innovations in healthcare are made, many are hopeful that healthcare burnout will become a less ubiquitous issue.

Adam Mulligan, a psychology graduate from the University of Hertfordshire, has a keen interest in the fields of mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.

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