Have you ever found yourself thinking about work even in the late hours of the night? Has it ever felt impossible to go out and have fun because you can’t separate your work life from your personal life? Achieving an ideal work-life balance is something that most strive for, especially when their work is excessively demanding. With overtime work demands to irregular routines and schedules, many people find their work life spilling into their personal lives until they look irrevocably the same. The downside? Their physical, mental, and emotional health.

Some occupations, especially those in health care, can prove extremely difficult to maneuver when finding the right balance between work and personal life. For instance, nurses have extremely demanding jobs that can infiltrate every aspect of their lives. From taking care of numerous patients at unexpected times to dealing with emergencies, nurses often have to stay back and work overtime, which inevitably interferes with their leisure time. 

Pulled from many directions, nurses have a lot to look after, which leaves them little to no time to look after themselves. Even when they find some time off work, they may still not have enough to sit with their family, invest in self-care, and continue their further education at the same time. For nurses looking to advance their careers and continue their studies, signing up for an RN to BSN online program may help them find some work-life balance. Beyond instilling quality learning, online education will allow multi-tasking and save time wasted on commutes.

Balancing your professional and personal life is extremely important for your physical and emotional health. With overwhelming routines, nurses can experience burnout, potentially leading to dangerous mistakes when treating patients. Therefore, to aid nurses with their work-life balance, we have listed some tips for them to follow.

1. Focus on self-care

For nurses, caring for other people comes with the job. However, taking care of others does not cancel out taking care of yourself. While spending excessive hours thinking about your patients in and outside the hospital is undoubtedly admirable, shifting some focus on yourself is equally important. Looking after your needs does not make you selfish- it only makes you physically and emotionally healthier and more capable of looking after others.

If you want to be at your best as a nurse, self-care is an essential step to give you strength through stressful schedules and the long, arduous hours at work. But what does self-care entail? Although the word’s overuse may portray it as such, self-care is not about taking a day off to hit the spa or going on a shopping spree to indulge yourself. Instead, it refers to taking care of your physical and mental well-being.

Therefore, if you feel fatigued by the end of the day, allow your body to relax for a moment- meditation may help calm your body and mind. If the unpleasant events of the day plague you, try reading a book to help yourself unwind. And most importantly, always listen to your body’s needs- sleep properly, eat properly, stress less, and take some time out for the things you love.

2. Learn to manage time effectively

Working in health care often means a conflicting and unpredictable work schedule. You may find yourself staying back at the hospital more often than not. You may find yourself split between taking care of numerous patients at once. A nurse’s job is far from easy and with many hurdles, often leading to a little or no semblance of personal life. However, you can improve your work-life balance if you can effectively manage your time at work.

Set a plan to get through your tasks at work without compromising on patient care quality. For instance, organize a planner, write down your timed appointments, and schedule your other tasks around them. Focus on high-priority tasks before moving down to those of low-priority. Delegating minor tasks to your subordinates can also help you get everything done on time. Also, don’t forget to schedule break times at intervals to refresh yourself and get something in your stomach.

Because of unexpected demands at work, effective time management will not ensure you clock out every day by a specific hour. However, it will still help you free up some time for your personal life on most days.

3. Don’t bring work at home

Of course, leaving work behind is not as easy as it sounds. Working in healthcare can be stressful, and you may find its effects spilling into your personal life. While you can’t shut off your work thoughts with a switch the moment you enter your home, you can still try to find a transitional routine that works for you. For instance, try setting aside some time to think about all that happened at work today and all you may have to do tomorrow. Try journaling your thoughts if the stress gets too much. Even a relaxing bath may help you calm down while reflecting on your day.

Find yourself a routine that can help you transition from your work life to your home life. Casting aside your thoughts and worries from work at home will allow you to relax your mind, indulge in your hobbies, and spend some time with your family or friends.

4. Exercise

For some, exercising after a long day at work can sound exhausting at best and downright loathsome at worst. However, nursing jobs require you to be healthy to endure hours of taking care of patients and running from one hospital room to another. To meet the physically demanding nature of your job, you may have to exercise regularly to improve your endurance. Even if it is only for 15 minutes, set aside some time to stretch your body and unknot the stiffness in your muscles. 

Aside from helping you adapt to the job physically, exercising will also help you relieve your stress after work. It will allow you to detach yourself from thoughts about work, focus on yourself, and re-center your mind.

5. Ask for help

Don’t hesitate to ask for assistance when you need it. If you find yourself loaded with tasks, ask a colleague to help you out with them. If you are too overwhelmed by the stress at work and need some time to ground yourself, ask your superior for a day off or an early leave. If it is getting too difficult to transition from work to home, consult a professional who can help you find a routine that works. Remember not to overdo anything and ask for help when things get troubling.


As a nurse, you may feel an overpowering sense of taking care of other people. However, it will always do you well to remember to take care of yourself. Your body and your health should always be your top priority. Hence, don’t jeopardize your health by working more than you can take. Otherwise, you risk burning yourself out and putting yourself and your patients at risk.


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