Every day we see examples of how to and how NOT to manage a healthy work/life balance. I used to think (when I was a newbie nurse) that some people just had the right disposition and the rest of us would eventually burn out. I didn’t factor in the choices that those healthy folks made every day to maintain that balance. For many, it didn’t come naturally either. There was a lot they had to unlearn. Sometimes they had to unlearn things when a divorce woke them up, when their bodies physically couldn’t take it anymore, or when their harmless glass of wine at night became a bottle.
It doesn’t have to go that route. We don’t have to wait for our bodies to emotionally, mentally and psychically shut down before we learn. Let’s practice preventative care.
Seek out role models in your field. Ask them questions. What choices have they made over the years to protect them from burnout? What choices do they make EVERY day.
Don’t listen to the folks who proudly state they “don’t take lunch breaks or can’t think of the last time they took a vacation.” Steer clear. Those folks are not healthy and while they may wear their overworking and lack of boundaries as a badge of honor, it is not.
Remember the quote, “You are not required to set yourself on fire to keep other people warm.” Keep this quote in mind (or whatever quote works for you) on the days when boundaries start to blur and you’re having a harder time paying attention to how you feel. I like to keep some of my favorite quotes around to help refocus me, and remind me of my self care goals.
The world needs you healthy! So….
Take care of YOU.