When you are working in healthcare, it can be difficult to get and keep a healthy balance. As a healthcare worker, you will have targets to reach, and you will have lots and pressure to deal with almost on a daily basis. It is important that you look after yourself as much as possible. If you do not look after yourself, then you may struggle to perform your role and duties within your job to the best of your ability. You may also struggle to be as happy and positive as you could be. Working in healthcare is both physically demanding and emotionally draining. Getting a happy and healthy balance that is sustainable is something that you should be working towards. So, what can you do to start improving the balance within your life, and what areas should you be focusing on first and foremost?
Putting Your Needs First
Even though you are responsible for other people’s wellness and care, it is still important that you take time out to look after yourself. If you do not put your needs first, then you may suffer more in the long run. Sometimes you need a bit of extra rest, and sometimes you just need to reach out and talk to someone (who is perhaps in the same industry). Putting your needs first and fulfilling what you need to do is important for you and also for your future. If you never make yourself a top priority, then you will struggle to value your health and well-being. While this may be OK in the short term, it is certainly not sustainable in the long term. When it comes to putting your needs first, you have to start by looking at everything you do on a daily basis. For example, are you doing more than you should be doing both inside and outside of work.? Are you taking on extra roles and responsibilities for other people and perhaps not even fulfilling your own? When you work in healthcare, it can be difficult to say. No, but it is important that you do, both for your happiness and your health.
Having a Balanced Diet
You are busy most of the time, and quite often, you miss meals, skip meals, or perhaps just eat junk food on the go. However, how good is this for you in the short run and the long run? When you do not eat a healthy and balanced diet, you will soon realize the effect it has on your body, on your energy levels, and your general outlook in life. You need a healthy and balanced diet daily to stay strong and energetic. A job within healthcare, no matter at what level, is demanding, and if your body is not equipped to deal with this level of demand, you could soon start to notice the effect. With a poor diet, you may be more prone to illness and infection. You may also develop further underlying issues further down the road.
Getting the Right Diet For You
When it comes to establishing and maintaining a healthy and balanced diet, you need to look at what you are currently eating and what vitamins, minerals, and nutrients you are getting. Breaking down what you are eating (and even monitoring) what you are consuming on a daily basis for at least one week is what you need to do. When you can physically see what you are missing or lacking from your diet, you can then begin to make positive changes. If you are short on time and you are reaching for junk food out of ease, then you need to look at how you can get more time to cook and prepare healthy meals. You may also need to look at bath cooking in advance (ad then freezing portions to use later on). Batch cooking and freezing ensures that you always have something to eat, even on those evenings or days when you do not feel like cooking.
Drinking Plenty of Fluids
The food that you eat is important, but so too are the fluids that you consume. If you are not drinking enough throughout the day, you will feel dehydrated, and your body will lack energy, and if you are drinking the wrong type of fluids, you may actually find that you are consuming more caffeine or sugar than your body and diet needs. This, too, is just as bad as not drinking enough fluids. If you are not drinking enough throughout your workday, or you are drinking too many caffeine-based drinks (or sugary-based drinks), then your body will struggle to get the nutrients and hydration that it needs. If your body is not as hydrated as it can be, then you will certainly struggle to perform your duties as well as you can and to the best of your ability.
What You Drink is Important
Focusing on cutting down the caffeine and also focusing on increasing the amount of water that you drink is what you should be focusing your attention and efforts on. To make this process easier, you can buy large water bottles or drink holders that tell you how much you should be drinking at a certain point within the day. If you cannot keep track of what you are drinking (especially when you are busy rushing around at work), then you will end up not drinking enough, which will, of course, lead to dehydration, poor attention span, and a general lack of energy.
Focusing on Your Future
When you are working day in, and day out within the healthcare industry, it can be difficult to focus on your own future. Looking after other people’s health and wellness often means that your own plans, health, and happiness can be sometimes pushed into the background. To stop this from happening, you need to focus on your future as much as you can. You can have a positive and healthy future if you maintain focus and if you have a direction to follow. Making plans for the future is just as important as living in the here and now. Future plans can keep you positive, and they can give you something to look forward to. For example, you can book a vacation for the future; this will help keep you focused. Or you could focus on your future career or role. Working within healthcare, you will notice that there are lots of opportunities for career progression and career development.
Going to University
You could get the most out of your time within the healthcare industry by pursuing a promotion or by pursuing a change. You may enjoy returning to studying, and you may enjoy a redirection of your time and efforts. When you look at studying for a degree, you take control back over your life and your future. Studying for a degree does not have to be all-consuming, and you can find there are opportunities to study online (to fit around existing commitment and working hours). When it comes to finding a University such as Marymount University to study with, you need to approach the process the same as you approach your working day. For example, breaking down what you want to achieve, why, and by when. Taking the first step in returning to education is often the hardest thing you can do; studying is often the easiest and most enjoyable part.
Healthcare – Getting Sufficient Rest
Any role within healthcare is consuming and demanding. It is important that you get enough rest and relaxation as and where you can. If you deprive yourself of a good night’s sleep, or if you struggle to rest, relax and unwind, then you need to start making some changes to your routine and to your lifestyle. Getting a sufficient amount of sleep after work each day should always be one of your top priorities. If you do not get at least 8 hours of sleep a day, then your body will struggle to repair and heal what it has gone through and endured over the day. Over time this may have further effects and consequences that could trigger long-term health concerns or issues. If you are struggling to relax or unwind before you go to best, then you may find it beneficial to change your bedtime routine. Look at what you are doing, and look at what is missing. For example, watching a news broadcast right before you go to bed is not going to help you get a restful nights sleep as you will be unconsciously processing what you have seen and heard. Reading a book or drinking herbal tea before bed may help you drift off into a more natural and restful nights sleep.
Healthcare – Relaxation Matters Too
As well as getting an adequate amount of sleep, you also need to focus on relaxing as much as possible. Taking 10 minutes out to have a shower or a bath, or even having a short walk in your day, can help to lift your spirits and help you feel relaxed and disconnected from your job/role. Disconnecting as much as you can is important and essential. If you are unable to disconnect, then you will struggle to separate work and home, and this is where imbalance creeps in and affects you even further. You may find it beneficial to undertake a new hobby or interest. Or you may well find it helpful to spend time with family and friends. Reconnecting with family members can give you an outlet for your energy, and it can help you see what is important within your life. When it comes to relaxing a little more, you need to think about what you would enjoy doing and what you would like to do.
Healthcare – Building a Support Network
Within your role, you need to have people that you can talk to, and you need to have others who share your feelings and experiences. Reaching out to others who are within the healthcare industry is important because they know what you are going through. Other healthcare workers have the experience and the knowledge to share and impart with you/on you. There may already be an established support network within your place of work, or there may be an opportunity for you to start something yourself. Meeting with like-minded individuals and also getting the chance to share what you are feeling and thinking is crucial for your health and happiness. You see a lot within your daily role, and you have a lot to deal with. If you do not share what you are going through or what you are feeling, then this can end up consuming you.
Healthcare – Not Pushing Yourself Too Hard
Getting a balance can be incredibly hard when you are working within the healthcare industry, but it is something that you must push for. If you try and push yourself too hard but try to do too much, you will feel the effects, and you will suffer as a result (perhaps physically or mentally). It is important to set boundaries both at work and within your home life. If you do not set boundaries, then you will struggle to say no, and you will struggle to stop. This will, of course, mean that you end up pushing yourself too hard. Learning to say no is crucial, but it can be more difficult than you initially think. The fear of letting people down or even disappointing them will hold you back from saying no, but it should not. You have to put yourself first, and you have to do what is right for you. If you feel like something is too much, or you feel that something is unacceptable, then you need to say so. Bottling up feelings and emotions is not good for you, and it can be just as bad as pushing yourself too hard. Learning to stop yourself from taking on too much at once can be a steep learning curve.