My Tips to Prevent Burnout at your job
- Practice self-care-
We sometimes work 12 hour shifts, with no break. We stuff our faces with unhealthy food and more coffee than regular human beings should ever digest, to stay wake. We sleep in extremely uncomfortable positions during our break. After our 12 hour shift, we stop caring for our patients and begin caring for our loved ones. The children have to go school. We have to prepare food for our loved ones and do errands before actually going to sleep. It is a never ending cycle. I see it with my own eyes; we care for our patients at 100%, our family at 100 % but ourselves at 50 % or less. As nurses we bring a feeling of safety, healing, compassion, selflessness and caring to the patients. As a Registered Nurse, we tell our patients how important it is to take care of them. As nurses we sometimes forget our self-care, but we will be the first ones to tell our patients the importance of not smoking, eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, getting enough sleep and practicing more self-care. As nurses, we neglect self-care for ourselves. We often don’t practice what we preach, which leads to us feeling stressed, overworked, burned out with life and work, which often leads to increased health problems.
Self-care is increasing your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being. Self-care can be hiking, exercising, yoga, sleeping, reading, or anything you may like to do which includes spending time with you. Sometimes we feel putting ourselves first is selfish. It’s not. Not only is it healthy, but necessary, so that you can be the best for everyone else around you. Burnout and compassion fatigue is common among nurses. It occurs because we pour ourselves into our work to such an extent that we lose sight of our own well-being. I feel good taking care of myself. It makes me a better nurse for my patients. Self-care is important for nurses because we need that time to refresh and revive or refocus. For example, on Saturday afternoon, I decided to treat myself to a pedicure and foot massage. While sitting in the chair getting my feet pampered, I felt good, and for that hour, I did not focus on the errands I needed to do, dinner I had to make, workouts I needed to do or bills I had to pay. I allowed myself to enjoy that moment. I cherished it by closing my eyes, breathing deeply and relaxing.
- You can break up your work schedule into two or three days so that you don’t have a lot of days in row. If you work in a stressful unit, spread your work days out in the schedule.
- Exercise – exercise 3 to 5 days, try to get 20- 30 minutes daily to produce Endorphins. Endorphins will increase your mood, alleviate stress and increase energy. I like to exercise because it helps me sleep better at nights.
- Vacations – remember to schedule your vacation or staycation into your work schedule. It’s good to have that time off from work to refocus, feel refreshed, reconnect to family, and reconnect with your feeling and self. A person who does not take a vacation or staycation will burn out easily, and in the end, it can hurt them because he or she will start hating their life and job. When we are burned out, mentally we run out of gas so we need those days off to refill. Also, visiting other countries could help change your perspective and make you a better person.
- Bring foods to work, I normally eat dinner 5pm at home before coming to work; I always bring healthy snacks to eat. Bring healthy foods to work because when a person eats a lot of high fat, high sugar and high carbohydrates at work, it makes you feel tired, sleepy and sluggish.
- Getting your sleep on is easier said than done right, especially working the night shift. I aim for 5- 6 hours sleep, I normally take melatonin 5mg and use lavender essential oil. I make sure that the room is completely dark; I have thick curtains that keep out the sunlight in the morning times.
- Take a break at work. Please take a break if allowed at your job. On your break you can rest, read an interesting book or listen to music to help take your mind off work.
Happy Labor Day guys!! It’s my Birthday. Happy Birthday to me!! My birthday prayer to you “I declared it is not too late to accomplish everything God has placed in my heart. I have not missed my window of opportunity. God has moments of favor in my future. He is preparing me right now because he is about to release a special grace to help me accomplish that dream. This is my time. This is my moment. I receive it today!! This is my declaration”. For a birthday gift, please follow my blog and share it with others. Please remember you can’t pour from an empty cup. Take care of yourself first.
Happy birthday Keisha!
Excellent points for caregivers as well. I remember when I was working full time I’d come home and begin preparing dinner for my family and my parents who were living next door and needed my assistance. Long-story-short I became so rundown that a flu turned into double pneumonia and I spent 9 days in the hospital! I would have benefited from reading your blog back then, hopefully, doctors and nurses will heed your advice!
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