Let’s face it: whether you’re new to nursing or you’ve been in the field for years, there’s always the potential for burnout. After all, you’ve dedicated most of your week to selflessly caring for others. Add in long shifts, strong emotion, and high demand, and you’re sure to find yourself in need of these 4 tips for preventing burnout.
We can’t stress this enough: self-care is essential to your mental and emotional well-being, especially in a career like nursing. When you empty your cup every day, you need to schedule in some time to refill it. Exercise — think yoga, running, biking, or fun group classes — is proven to enliven your spirits and motivate you to head back to the challenges of nursing with a full tank. You can also spend some time doing what you’re most passionate about, like painting, drawing, spending time by the water, or any other extra-curricular activity that brings you peace.
Relationships with other nurses are critical to preventing burnout. You share the same struggles, help carry each other’s burdens, and lean on one another when you’re unsure how to move forward. Your nursing friends are there to answer your questions, teach you, and support you when you’re on the verge of burnout.
Even though you may want to keep working until it all gets done, you must recognize that you’ve got to stop somewhere. There will always be more than enough work to fill up your shift (and then some), so you must set boundaries for yourself when you’re tempted to do far more than your employer requires.
#4 Time Away
Don’t be afraid to take some time off to recharge. Sometimes a few days away can be the break you need to get back up and keep making a difference. Or, if it’s not possible to take whole shifts off, at least take full advantage of your breaks. You’ve been hired to do a job, and breaks are a necessary part of clearing your mind so that you can be at your best for your patients.
Knowing is Half the Battle
You are on the front lines of medicine, and it’s not easy. Know how to prevent burnout so that you can walk away from the shift fulfilled instead of empty.