Plenty of sleep
One of the most important things, and the hardest things for health care workers to maintain, is a healthy sleeping schedule. Depending on where you work and live, the travel time between work and home can take a huge chunk out of your sleeping schedule. For example, if you do not have access to a car and are taking a train, bus, or Uber from work, the time waiting and the time spent in transit can make your day feel even longer. The average time spent in transit is 45 to 47 minutes, and adding that to an 8-hour work day can be stressful. One thing you can do at home is cut corners on time spent doing mundane things, or preparing this in advance. For example, instead of making dinner every night, make meals on your days off or start them in advance so they do not take as long. Try reducing your screen time, as screen exposure and blue light exposer can cause insomnia. One last thing you can do is don’t eat too much or drink too much before you go to sleep. When your body rests, it is it’s time to digest. So eating a large meal will cause your body to use up more energy, and could cause you to have a very restless sleep. Try to implement a sleeping schedule as well so that you can further improve your sleeping routine to avoid burnout.
Take mental breaks
Another crucial thing to help you avoid burnout is to take periodic mental breaks. Your mental health is super important and can affect many different aspects of your life. It can affect your quality of work, relationships with friends and family, and can even cause your body to feel physically ill or for you to get sick. One of the things you can do is to separate yourself from the world around you. Try taking slow, deep breaths, to calm yourself down and clear out any negative or stressful thoughts that cloud your mind. A good way to get rid of negative or stressful thoughts is by envisioning a whiteboard, with everything stressing you out written on it, then erasing it as you take deep breaths.
Separate work from your personal life
It’s super hard to come home after a stressful shift, when you’ve had to deal with multiple patients, and what feels like having to do a million different tasks all day. The best way for you to separate work from your personal life is to take up some activities that force you to not think about work. For example, you could try meditation, yoga, or some other form of relaxation outside of work to help you reduce your stress levels. Another great way to reduce stress is by working out. When working out, your body releases endorphins that help improve your mood and reduce anxiety. If you enjoy creative activities, try painting, drawing, or journal writing. Allowing your creative side to flourish can boost your mood and help you feel more relaxed after a stressful work week.
Hopefully, these tips and ways to avoid burnout can help you after a stressful workday or week. Remember to always find time for yourself and to take mental breaks, as your mental health is super important and shouldn’t be ignored.