3 Ways to Find More Free time and Reduce Stress Despite a Hectic Work Schedule

February 10, 2019
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From being on-call to working the overnight shift or overtime, being a nurse or healthcare professional can really take a toll on your body and mind. Because patients rely on us to help them in their times of need, it’s essential that you be alert, aware, and ready for anything.

Sleep deprivation, often caused by stress, can have a profound effect on your ability to provide patients with the best care you’re capable of giving them. According to NCIB, a lack of sleep can cause increased safety risks, mood alterations, reduced job performance, and cognitive problems. While this can create issues in the workplace, stress and a lack of sleep can negatively affect your relationships, too. Make sure you’re getting restful sleep by increasing your free time and reducing stress.

If you want to find a healthier work-life balance there are some things you can do. These will help you reduce your stress levels and increase your downtime to make your work life better and your home life more enjoyable.

Be Self-Aware of When Your Perfectionism is Getting in the Way

This applies to your work life and your home life. Being a perfectionist can make you the perfect candidate for becoming a nurse or healthcare professional, but don’t let it become you. Think more in terms of precision rather than perfectionism.

Getting too wrapped up in the details and making sure everything is perfect can lead to depression, anxiety, overall dissatisfaction, and a greater risk of suicide. Part of the solution to this problem is becoming self-aware of when you’re focusing too much on one detail versus the bigger picture. Ask yourself, “Would the minor detail matter to the overall quality of the task?” and “is it life or death?”

Breaking the cycle of perfectionism should extend to your home life. Don’t re-hang the picture in your daughter’s room five times if it’s a millimeter off.

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Part of this process is finding a way to forgive yourself for not being perfect all the time. Choose your battles and you’ll find yourself less stressed about the little things.

When you find yourself battling to be perfect or to perform perfectly, take a break and re-focus. Take a moment to meditate or breathe. This can also be a great way to make time for yourself, even if it’s just one minute from time to time. Find other ways to Strengthen and Improve Your Mind Body Connection to make the most of your breaks.

Be Fully Engaged In Personal Relationships

There’s no denying that our jobs are important. But don’t forget that your job is not the only important thing in your life. Take time to build, strengthen, and develop your personal relationships.

Just because you worked on Thanksgiving doesn’t mean you missed your opportunity to celebrate with your loved ones. Take the initiative to rest, then have family over to your house a day or two after the holiday has passed. They will likely appreciate the opportunity to spend more time with you and form fond memories of your post-holiday celebration.

Don’t neglect date night. Whether you’ve been married for twenty-three years, just three, or you’re still single, you have to make time for your spouse (or future spouse) to be a part of your life. While romance may not seem like a priority, it can significantly improve your mental health and help you to prioritize what matters most in your life. Spending time with someone who loves you can help you love them and yourself more deeply.

While spending time with your family is essential, don’t be too hard on yourself if you have to miss your son or daughter starring in the elementary school production of The Wizard of Oz. Have your spouse purchase a copy of the recording or record it. Then take the time on your day off to watch the performance as a family. You could even have your child act out their favorite scene for you. Be sure to give him or her a standing ovation. These memories are often more important than seeing the play with everyone else.

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Be as Efficient at Home as You Are at Work

It can be difficult to maintain the levels of precision you do at work. While, you don’t have to be perfect all the time, and in fact, we encourage you not to be, you should be precise when it comes to ways to reduce your stress.

Stay organized at home to save you time, energy, and efficiency. Many nurses find themselves struggling to keep up with housework when rest has to be a priority. Keep this in mind when arranging your home and organizing your belongings. When you move into a new place, try to set yourself up for success by maximizing easily accessible storage. You won’t have to search for hours for your green scarf–you’ll know exactly where it is.

Find housing that supports a healthy lifestyle. Apartments are great when it comes to efficiency and time management. Most apartment buildings or developments have gyms, so you don’t have to go far to workout. They also have the benefit of maintenance crews to keep your surroundings clean and beautiful. And you never have to mow the lawn.

You work hard to improve the lives of others. Don’t do a disservice to yourself by living stressed and overwhelmed. As a nurse, you have to find ways to balance your work and home lives in order to maximize your happiness and health. Don’t be afraid to put yourself first from time to time or take a break to reevaluate your priorities.