Let's face it, nurses have a hard time finding balance between our profession and our personal life for many reasons to include: the difficulty of our body adjusting from working 12-hour shifts, our minds constantly going when we are not at work to make sure we completed all of the required task for the patients we cared for during our shift, the pursuit of higher education, cultivating family relationships, and the list can go on and on. To be honest this often causes burn-out in nurses and many wanting to walk away from the profession. And lets be very clear, millennial nurses are not here for the unbalancing act of professional and personal life and are actually forcing healthcare execs to do things like restructure the shifts available to nurses by offering self-scheduling in 4, 8, 12, or 16 hour increments (which I am here for), forming committees that solely focus on creating a work-life balance, and including actual nurses in the actual decision making of many of the policies and procedures that we adhere to (I have always been perplexed how nurses who carry out clinical task where not at the table when key decisions are made on how we should practice). Nonetheless, there are still challenges with truly living your BEST life due to being unbalanced. While balance continues to be a balancing act for myself, (because honestly its hard out here to be wife of the year, mother of the year, sister/friend of the year, nurse of the year, entrepreneur of the year, and the list goes on with the pursuit of me living MY best life) I have definitely come along way and do pretty well at balancing it all.
Here Are 4 Tips That Can Help You Balance It All:
1. Say NO To Things That Do Not Add To Your Bottom Line - As humans, not to mention as nurses, we have a lot to balance and don't need the extra things from family and friends added to our plates. So if there is an ask of you that you really don't want to do and is NOT going to add to your bottom line ....... say NO! And listen don't feel bad about it or feel as if you have to be there for everyone all the time because the reality is you don't. You don't because I can promise you that soon your cup will dry up and you will have NOTHING to pour from it and YOU will be the one down & out while those who drained you are gone on about their business. NO is a complete sentence that requires no further explanation and those who truly respect you will also respect your NO.
2. Get Organized - There is no way possible to truly thrive through chaos ( notice I used the word THRIVE because you will make some progress but it won't be sustainable). Organize your living spaces, organize your calendar, organize your car, organize your thoughts by writing them down, organize your life.....PERIOD. The reality is God can't bless chaos. Many of the INTENTIONAL steps that are ordained for us to take are communicated to us by God daily, but we have so much chaos going on around us & in us that we can't recognize or hear them.
3. DELEGATE- Many of us have gotten into this "self-made" mode, but the reality is trying to be "self-made" will get you NOWHERE. In order to progress in life you MUST have a supporting cast that helps you. There is not one movie that a producer actually brought to life without a supporting cast, I don't care how good the script is, they needed to be able to delegate task to the sound team, the wardrobe team, the camera team, etc. So stop feeling like you have to do it all alone and find you some reputable individuals that you can delegate task to in order to achieve your goals ( let your spouse and kids do the laundry, help clean the house, etc.)
4. Rest When You Are Tired - I will sleep when I am DEAD! This is a phrase that I have heard all too often and actually thought that I had to abide by it if I wanted to actually accomplish all of my goals that I had set out for myself, so I pushed myself when my body told me to "stop and give me some rest" and guess what IT DIDN'T END WELL. I actually became less productive, didn't perform as well, and was in a horrible mood when I didn't get the rest I needed. So guess what now when I am tired, I politely grab my favorite blanket, the remote, a glass of wine or water ( depending on if I am trying to lose weight......sigh), watch TV, and do absolutely NOTHING. When you are tired REST! We as nurses know the importance of taking care of our bodies, yet we don't do it ( we make horrible recipients of healthcare advice, LOL).
Nicole Thomas, MSN, RN, CCM