Talk about a rough couple of years on the job. Many of today’s healthcare professionals are feeling stressed, frustrated, overworked, and in need of a change. If you fall into the same camp, it’s important to remember one key thing. Your job will always be taxing if you don’t find a healthy work-life balance.
Regardless of what role you work in, you know to expect work-related challenges in every environment. Since you can’t control what curve balls will come your way, you should be focusing on what you can control. A healthy work-life balance is achieved when individuals can maintain boundaries and feel productive at work and at home. You don’t bring your personal problems to your patients. Don’t bring your patient problems to your family. But there’s far more to finding a healthy balance than that, especially in today’s healthcare landscape. Here are a few ways others are finding their perfect work-life balance in a healthy and rewarding way.
Re-Evaluate Your Career and Personal Goals
If you’ve been neglecting a work-life balance for yourself, the first step is to sit down and critically take stock of your current position. Where are you now, both in your career and your personal life? Re-evaluate and identify what your goals are in both respects. Awareness of your current situation will help inspire your change in behavior needed. Outlining your goals will realign your priorities to keep you motivated in that change.
Live by a Personal and Professional Schedule
Those who are the most successful at maintaining personal and professional balance will all tell you it’s about scheduling. In your healthcare role, you live by the schedule, whether it’s your hours for the week, seeing patients, or attending meetings. Bring that same level of dedicated organization to your personal life and keep a schedule there, too. It will keep you from over-scheduling yourself with work when you have blocks of time set aside for family time, personal time, or off-work hobbies.
Make and Keep Appointments with Yourself
Piggybacking on the scheduling comes a commitment to yourself. Make and keep appointments with yourself, especially those appointments related to health and wellness. Make sure you’re getting your routine doctor visits in as recommended. Carve out times for workouts or afternoon walks. Block off chunks of your day for mediation or to take breaks. Pencil in those important bullets on your calendar, and then do your best to keep those appointments.
Get Familiar with the Word ‘No’
Are you overworking yourself because you can’t say no? You’re not alone. And given the “all hands on deck” nature of the healthcare industry these days, there is always a demand for employees to work more. But beware. If you haven’t reached the point of burnout, you soon will. And that’s why it’s important to learn that it’s absolutely ok to say no. Sure, it’s acceptable to take on an extra shift here or there or help out a colleague. However, don’t make those instances the norm. Familiarize yourself with “no” and give yourself permission to use it.
Unplug from the Devices
It’s easy to fall back into work issues when you’re away simply because you’re electronically connected to work no matter where you are. For a healthy work-life balance to exist, you will have to learn to unplug from your devices and mark yourself unavailable when you’re at home. Don’t check your emails until you’re ready to plug back into work. If there are emergencies, they know how to reach you. But all other work-related engagements can wait until you’re back on-site or ready to devote time to work. They have no place during your family time, at dinner, or when you’re enjoying recreational time.
Take Your Vacation Time
When you took your current healthcare job, you likely also outlined what kind of paid time off and vacation time would be allocated for you. Don’t let those valuable days go to waste. If you have time to take, make plans now to do so. Even scheduling your annual vacations can provide relief in itself, giving you something enjoyable to look forward to on the calendar. And you don’t have to plan extravagant trips, either. A camping trip with friends, a weekend with family, or a spontaneous road trip and hotel stay can do wonders to reset your mind and body.
What’s at Stake If You Don’t Preserve Work-Life Balance?
Healthcare workers at every level, from entry-level care facilitators to director or specialist-level providers, can all seek improvements in a work-life balance reality. And there’s a lot at stake to consider if you don’t prioritize yourself. If healthcare professionals neglect this balance, they’ll soon become exhausted and distracted, which could lead to clinical mistakes. It can also lead to burnout that has already inspired so many to leave their professions indefinitely. These conditions will only compound healthcare worker shortages and eventually impact patient healthcare costs, too.
Consider these tips for re-evaluating your work-life balance today and inspire healthy changes. And if you come to the conclusion your current stress and frustration require a change in role or career altogether, let the InSync Healthcare Recruiters help you find your path to success!