Healthcare is a demanding and stressful industry. The long hours, physically and mentally demanding labor as well as the sheer chaos that can occur within a single shift can add up.
That is why work life balance is essential. One needs to find enough time for both their professional duties and their family lives. Thanks to the factors listed above, however, a lot of this is easier said than done.
This article will help you achieve work life balance.
What is work-life balance?
Some readers may be passingly aware of the term, but are unsure exactly what “work life balance” entails.
As human beings, we have to contend with limited time and energy. Some people devote themselves entirely to rest and recreation, which hinders their career path. Other people will work themselves to the bone, while putting all hobbies or relationships on the side.
Both extremes are unhealthy and damaging in the long run. When you achieve work life balance, you are distributing equal time and focus to both your professional success and your personal lives.
In reality, some cannot work more due to circumstances beyond their control. Meanwhile, others have no choice but to work more due to their line of work or employer.
The “perfect” work life balance is not an attainable goal for many people. Regardless, healthcare professionals owe it to themselves to attempt to strike this balance, to the best of their ability.
Why is balancing family and work difficult for HCPs?
Healthcare is a challenging industry. HCPs are expected to provide life-saving care to patients in need. In the case of Emergency Rooms or Critical Care Units, they have to offer this care within severe time constraints and especially high pressure situations.
In reality, every healthcare hero feels stress and pressure on a level that most people cannot relate to. Working hours are long and HCPs spend most of their time on their feet.
All this physical and mental fatigue adds up. Even off the clock, they can end up too tired to commit their time to anything else.
What can be done?
Commit to self-reflection
So you want to spend more time with your family. Ask yourself an honest question: how much time, exactly? Are you also looking to advance your career in the future, with supplemental study? Do you have the fortitude and resources to juggle work, education, and family consistently?
Before you set your work life balance in order, you want a clear vision of your priorities. Write on paper your long term goals and short term goals.
You have to be truthful to yourself and your loved ones. Open the floor with your loved ones about the potential sacrifices that must be made, in both the short term and the long term. Through every step of the process, you want to make sure your family is on the same page as you.
Foster a strong support network
There are times where your work can overwhelm you. It is a level of stress that most people cannot imagine.
In these instances, the value of a support network cannot be understated. Your family will be there to support you and lend an ear to your troubles.
If your situation becomes unmanageable, ask for help from your family and friends. If you have to take an extra shift, do not be afraid to ask if they could look after your family at your house. Just be prepared if they answer no.
It does not stop there either. Having fellow professionals or veterans in your network is also invaluable.Beyond just emotional support, these people understand the challenges of balancing family life with your job. They can provide you with actionable advice and suggestions that are rooted in years of experience.
The phrase “treat yourself” conjures images of expensive meals or impulse purchases. This is not what we mean when we suggest that you “treat yourself” however.
A healthy body is the key to a healthy mind. You need to give yourself ample time and space to succeed, in this regard, if you want to achieve work–life balance.
Priority number 1 is getting enough rest. Most adults need 7 to 9 hours of REM sleep in order to be “well-rested.” When you are well-rested, you have the mental awareness to tackle the various challenges of the day.
You also want a balanced diet. Sufficient nutrition provides you with invaluable energy and strength. Preparing your own meals in advance or finding healthier alternatives to your existing diet (if you can help it) are highly recommended.
Take some time to yourself and your family
Sometimes, a couple days off may be all you need. If you have sick days that remain unused, do not be afraid to use them to buy yourself some personal time with the ones who matter most. How you spend your free day is completely up to you
You can spend it resting, watching TV or even playing games with your family. If you are more active, you can take your kids and spouse that cross-state or international vacation you always wanted to take. What works best for your family may not work for others. Go with you heart, here.