How to Separate Your Healthcare Job from Your Personal Life
August 17, 2018
By Noelle Horne
Working in the healthcare field while maintaining a household and family may feel like a recipe for emotional and physical burnout, especially when you haven't found a healthy work-life balance. You don't need to become a superhero to thrive under these responsibilities, though.
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5 tips for finding a healthy work-life balance
By employing a variety of self-care tactics, you can create space between your work life and home life to be your best self in both roles. Follow these tips to start on your path toward a more fulfilling and healthy work-life balance.
1. Establish personal and professional boundaries
In Psychology Today, Mariana Bockarova, PhD, recommends that you identify your limits and be assertive with respect to your boundaries. If you need space to unwind after your shift, for example, it's okay to ask friends and family for an hour of quiet time. Likewise, set boundaries with patients to prevent over-involvement and promote a therapeutic relationship.
2. Allow an emotional process for a healthy work-life balance
Emotional detachment seems like a helpful way to maintain professional boundaries; however, patients benefit from a more delicate balance of provider interest. Furthermore, you may struggle to shut off emotions about your personal life while you work.
Emily Mendez, M.S. EdS, notes that "[emotional detachment] is not necessarily a healthy thing either." She encourages providers to acknowledge and process their feelings by setting aside time for stress management techniques, like meditation.
3. Protect your physical health
Caring for patients can exhaust your body, which makes time off from work less enjoyable. Reduce your risk of workplace injury by handling patients safely. Try to exercise regularly, and eat nutritious meals to keep your body functioning well. A healthy work-life balance is easier to achieve when you have the energy for activities on and off the clock.
4. Schedule a daily transition period
It's hard to stop thinking about work the moment you leave for the day, so Dr. Samuel Malloy, medical director of the UK's Dr Felix online pharmacy, recommends a brief daily transition, which includes a shower and change of clothes.
"You have 30 minutes to talk about work, and that's it," he says. "It's important to communicate with your partner about the difficulties you face, but don't let it interfere with your home life."
5. Be proactive at work and home
The American Journal of Nursing advises healthcare workers to be proactive in creating a healthy work-life balance by:
- • Seeking solutions to work-related problems
- • Using flex time as needed
- • Making a schedule for activities at home
- • Delegating chores
A proactive approach helps reduce the stress of work and life responsibilities while empowering you to create the career and home environment you desire.
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