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Work Life Balance tips for Healthcare Professionals

As most know the healthcare industry is a massive sector from all the different organisations such as hospitals, medical centres, and care homes, and also all the staff members that work there i.e., doctors, nurses, and care givers etc.  All individuals that work within the industry know how exceptionally rewarding it is. Especially to be able to help and give back to people is a very selfless and brilliant act of compassion which helps people to live healthy and wholesome lives. Unfortunately, all of these amazing duties can take its toll, and if you work too hard you will become burned out and unable to continue with your workload.                                       

Taking on too many hours is likely to invade your personal life and will make you forget to reward yourself with some time for yourself. Therefore, like in any industry a work-life balance is essential otherwise this amount of workload can cause harm to your body, both physically and mentally.

What is work life balance?

Work-life balance is a phrase given to the number of hours you dedicate in your life to your job and yourself. For example, this could be hobbies, spending time with your family, socialising, relaxing or doing exercise etc. However, as you’ll certainly spend a huge amount of your life at work, you should make sure that you do not continuously work extra hours and always take a bit of time to do the things that make you happy.

A lot of the time, work life balance depends on the age you are and the goals and lifestyle you are trying to achieve. For example, if you are young and new to the working life you become eager to earn and will want to learn as much as you can. You will not feel you need much time to yourself. Whereas if you’re a person with a lot of obligations, you may need to re-evaluate your work-life balance to ensure that you’re giving enough interest to the people that mean the most to you.

Why it’s important to get the best work-life-balance possible

It’s so crucial to respect your unique life needs when evaluating what work-life balance works for you. It’s also valuable to remember that what might be stressful or successful for one person may not be for another. That’s why you should never compare yourself to others, or the work-life balance they maintain. Your goal is to find a work-life balance that minimises your stress and creates opportunities for your happiness.

If you have the best of both worlds when it comes to work life balance, you will give yourself the best possible chance of remaining healthy and happy and focused on your long-term goals. However, if you work too hard or continue to take on more overtime, accept unnecessary contracts and stay late every day, it can lead to a break-down in relationships at home, significantly impact your work performance and lead to stress.                                                                                       

The consequences of poor work-life balance

Fatigue– Your capability to work productively and think clearly may suffer which would take a toll on your professional reputation or lead to mistakes.

Poor health– Chronic stress can lead to high blood pressure, digestive issues, heart problems, and chronic aches and pains. Chronic stress is also linked to higher risk of anxiety, depression, and insomnia, which in turn can cause fatigue, irritability, and mood swings. Stress can worsen symptoms related to many medical conditions and put you at risk of substance misuse.  

Lost time with friends and loved ones: If you’re working too much, you may end up for example missing important family events or milestones. This can leave you feeling left out and might harm your relationships.

By respecting your own specific needs, you enable yourself to find a balance that supports your physical, mental, and spiritual health.

Tips to have a good work-life balance

Set limits- If you do not set limits, work can leave you with no time for the relationships and activities you enjoy. You can perhaps consider these strategies:

Manage your time– Give yourself enough time to get things done. Don’t dedicate yourself to do so many things. Plan the week and build in flexibility. Agree to your plan and try to stick to it. Have a small amount of time built into your day so you can deal with the unknown or unexpected, which always happens, personally and professionally.

Learn to say No– Evaluate your main concerns at work and at home and try to shorten your to-do list. Get rid of activities that you do not enjoy and talk to your employer or manager about things you are finding hard to handle or are stressed about.

Detach from work– Working from home or commonly using technology to connect to work when you’re at home can cause you to feel like you’re always on the job. If you work from home, dress for work, and have a quiet dedicated workspace. When you’re done working each day, switch-off and do an activity that you enjoy.

Consider your options– Ask your employer about flexi hours, job sharing or other scheduling flexibility. The more control you have over your hours, the less stressed you will be.

Caring for yourself– A healthy lifestyle is beneficial to coping with stress and to achieving a work-life balance. Eat well, include physical activity in your daily routine and get enough sleep.

Trust your team- Trust in people, both personal and professional whom are around you. Keeping communication open as well as constantly building on partnerships and relationships means that you can easily adjust your balance knowing you have the help and support you need.

Overall

It is important to accept that your balance does not have to be perfect, even or constant. It is about finding a happy, comfortable balance that you are in control of, is the real goal. It’s about being able to make the right choices for your circumstances and this may mean that other things are sacrificed. You need to make the right choices for your mind and body. Make sure you re-assess your work-life balance to make sure it’s right for you. You’ll quickly realise what is required to keep you happy at home and performing to the best of your abilities at work.

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