Nurses are perhaps some of the most undervalued and underpaid individuals in the American workforce. They're constantly running from room to room, checking on patients, and doing the doctor's bidding. Additionally, even though their whole purpose is to take care of people in their time of need, they're often treated poorly by the patients they attend to.
Incredibly, most nurses are also part-time or full-time students, trying to further their career! However, this leads to a lot of stress. Many nurses become overwhelmed trying to figure out how to balance work, school, and family life.
This article is for those hardworking nurses or anyone else looking to reduce stress and create balance in their lives.
Keep reading for an in-depth look at how to take care of yourself, so you can continue to take care of others.
How to Balance Work, School, and Family Life
As a nurse, you don't just get to deal with friendly families who bring in their kid with a broken arm. You get those occasionally, but you also get plenty of unsavory individuals as well. However, even when working with a drug addict off the street who thinks it's funny to spit on you, you must remain professional and helpful.
As rewarding as this career is, it can also be severely taxing, especially while you're still taking classes and have a family to worry about. Follow along fo find out how you can find peace and balance along the way.
Be Clear About What Your Goals Are and Why
First, you need to clearly define your goals to yourself. Figure out the endgame. What are you working towards?
Next, and even more importantly, you need to figure out why you're doing it. The answer to this question is what will give you the motivation and grit to keep pushing every day. If you don't have a strong enough reason behind your goals, it will be difficult to push through the hard times.
Accept the Nature of Things
Next, when learning how to balance work, school, and family life, you need to learn a level of acceptance. This isn't saying you shouldn't work to improve things, but there are certain parts of your life you won't be able to change.
Accepting your busy life for what it is key to enduring it. Accept that until you make it through school, you're going to have a lot on your plate. If you can't accept that, then perhaps you should pull back and take fewer classes.
Learn How to Reduce Stress at Work
Another important step in finding balance is learning how to reduce work stress. This will help you get through each workday and have plenty of gas left in the tank to go to school and take care of your family.
You can do this by ensuring you're taking your allotted breaks at work, using your lunch to do small mindfulness meditations, and building strong relationships with your co-workers.
Learn How to Say No
Another important step in learning how to balance work, school and family life is learning how and when to say "no". Don't agree to work extra shifts. Don't agree to donate your time to help other people in your classes.
You won't get voted most popular, but you also won't lose your sanity. Your free time is incredibly rare and valuable; don't give it away.
Take Time for Self-Care
Next, in order to maintain peace during this phase of your life, you need to learn some self-care habits. This can include meditating, playing video games, taking relaxing baths, or even taking weekend trips to get out of town.
No matter what you do, make sure you're taking time to enjoy yourself doing things you love.
Practice Time Management Skills
Additionally, as a nurse/student/parent, you need to optimize your time and make your days as efficient as possible. You don't have the luxury of wasting your time surfing Facebook or pinning things on Pinterest.
Learn and practice time management skills to help your days flow smoothly. Just remember to have backup plans as nothing ever works perfectly!
Take Care of Your Physical Health
Another important tactic while learning how to balance work, school, and family life is implementing a physically healthy lifestyle.
It's easy to conform to a diet of convenience rather than nutrition when you're constantly busy. However, convenience foods are often the ones that will sap you of energy, slow down your mental processes, and make you gain unwanted weight.
Instead, adhere to a healthy diet, exercise a few times a week, and avoid drinking too much alcohol.
Keep Things as Simple as Possible
As a nurse, student, and parent, your life is anything but simple. However, you should learn how to simplify things where you can.
This can include getting a sitter for the kids, prepping meals for the entire week during your days off, having the kids help out more around the house, etc.
Keep a Planner and Make Lists
Next, learning how to balance work, school, and family life means keeping everything organized. Get a planner and make sure your entire week is planned out ahead of time. Note all the important events of the week such as work schedules, assignment due dates, and class times.
It also helps to make a prioritized to-do list at the beginning of each day. It's likely that many days will pass without completing your list. Remember to cut yourself some slack!
Don't Be Afraid to Ask for Help
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, remember to ask your friends and family for help! No said you have to do this alone and no one expects you to!
Learning how to balance work, school, and family life is no easy task. While independence is admirable, now is not the time. Reach out for help, you may be surprised how willing people are to lend a hand.
You Can Do This
Are you ready to start getting your life back in order?
Start implementing some of these tips on how to balance work, school, and family life today. We know the chaos will never completely go away, but it will die down substantially.
Remember, it won't happen overnight, but with some effort to get things organized, you can significantly improve your life!
Good luck, and remember to check out the rest of our articles!