It’s safe to say that rates of burnout are at an all-time high for nurses. A recent study found that more than a third of nurses planned to leave the field by the end of 2022. And it’s hard to blame them. While nursing can be a richly satisfying career, it can also be overwhelming and stressful.
All this to say, if you feel yourself inching towards burnout at your nursing job, you’re not alone. You shouldn’t feel guilty or weak; certain aspects of nursing are downright challenging and can’t be avoided. However, that doesn’t mean burnout is inevitable. You can build a healthier relationship with your nursing career with patience and the right tools.
Here are four ways to avoid nurse burnout and learn to love your job again:
1. Lean on your friends and family.
Whether it’s a coworker, a friend, or a therapist, it’s essential to have someone you feel comfortable confiding in when you’re feeling stressed. A robust support system will help get you through hard days and give you a safe space to vent when you’re struggling.
2. Nurture your health.
Taking care of your mind and body is vital to avoid nurse burnout. When you’re sleeping well, eating smart, and exercising regularly, you’ll be more focused at work. Plus, you’ll be more likely to be active on your days off rather than spending all your time on the couch or glued to the TV.
3. Make the most of your time off.
On your non-work days, permit yourself to unplug from work altogether. After all, time off is useless if you spend it stressing about work. Do your best to turn off your nursing brain and relax – whatever that looks like for you. That way, you can return to work feeling refreshed and energized.
4. Get confident saying no.
You can’t deliver the quality care your patients need as a nurse if you’re drowning in work. You shouldn’t feel obligated to take on more responsibility, hours, or patients than you can. If you’re feeling pressured by your manager to max out your workload, arrange a sit-down with them so you can voice your concerns.
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