Stressed at Work? Top Ways to Improve Your Work/Life Balance

Nurses often refer to their profession as a calling, or a deep desire to devote themselves to serving others. However, when your job or career is also calling, it’s easy to overlook balancing your own work and life, and quickly become burned out. Sometimes it’s difficult for per diem nursing staff to achieve balance when you’re overwhelmed by the demands of the job, erratic work schedules and just the inability to say “no” when someone asks for help.

Stress and job burnout can disrupt your normal patterns of behavior and feelings and can affect your physical health. Some barriers are outside of your control, such as inadequate staffing levels or a difficult work environment. But there are ways to help balance these stresses and reduce the potential for experiencing burnout.

Pay Attention to Your Physical Health

Experiencing balance in work and life begins with living a healthier lifestyle. Research data demonstrates those who exercise regularly and eat healthy, whole foods are better able to manage their stress levels and remain physically healthy. The same is true for sleep. It’s important to get eight hours of quality, restorative sleep each night, which helps maintain your mental and emotional health.

Simplify and Manage Time

As a contract staff nurse, you’re often placed in new situations and given a challenging load. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed, so it’s important to simplify as much as possible. Thanks to technology, you can help monitor and respond to your patients and your family using smartphone apps. Technology can also help organize your home life and maintain a calendar to simplify errands and trips. When you’re juggling a stressful job and a full home life, it’s important you manage your time to the best of your ability.

Deal with Conflicts Immediately

Having conflicts at work or at home can drain your time and your emotions, and increase the risk you’ll experience burnout. Quickly engage in necessary conversations that will resolve conflicts.

Take Breaks

It’s time you take breaks when you’re at work or when you’re off. Quality time with family and friends helps restore your mental balance and taking a break for a meal at work may be essential when the workload is heavy and you haven’t had a chance to stop all day. As a per diem nurse you may feel uncomfortable asking for the break, but ask so you aren’t even more stressed later.


Experiencing burnout and feeling overwhelmed and overworked is often the result of not delegating tasks at work and home. Although you may feel you’re the only one who can do things correctly, to maintain a positive balance in your life, it’s important to effectively delegate. It is okay to ask for help or assistance from teammates at work, and it’s important for children and your spouse to help out so you maintain your sanity. Remember, it’s also okay to say no once in a while.

Recognize Perfectionism

Be alert to the idea you may be a perfectionist. When it comes to patient safety, perfection is a necessity. However, perfection is not necessary at home. Try to relax and let others help out.

You might agree with these suggestions, but think your life is now too overwhelming to put them into practice. Try taking one small step at a time and never underestimate the power of small changes in your life. Making one small change may take just a few minutes, but after several weeks, that one small change may have made a huge difference.

Find Your Career Fit Today!

Are you looking for a national healthcare staffing firm that cares about their professionals? Contact Capital Healthcare Solutions and find out what makes us different from other contract staffing agencies!



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