Leave work stress at work: 3 ways for nurse practitioners

Leave work stress at work

Do you need to leave work stress at work?

How many of you have heard the phrase “leave your personal issues at the door” as you walk into work? I agree with this advice. We should not let our personal drama and problems interfere with our work as a nurse practitioner. We should be able to focus on seeing patients without being distracted by what is going on at home.

But, the opposite is also true. We should be leaving our work stress at work as well. We should be able to relax and recharge when we are at home. We should have time and energy to focus on our spouse, our kids, ourselves. We should have better control of work-life balance.

It can be difficult to leave work stress at work when you are bringing charts home. It can be difficult when your mind is overwhelmed and consumed by the work involved with caring for your patients. It is difficult when our jobs leave us exhausted and struggling with nurse practitioner burnout.

Sometimes we need to take a step back and let our minds process the busy day. We need to clear our thoughts so we can be open to completing our personal duties. We need to leave work stress at work. We need to improve our work-life balance. We need to work on being present with our families.


Here are 3 ways to debrief and leave work stress at work.

1. Take time to reflect on your busy day.

As you are driving home from work, take some time to reflect on the overwhelm of your day. As you pull into the driveway and park your vehicle, sit for an extra 5 minutes to allow yourself to debrief.

Think about what went well and what was hard. Think about your patients and how you helped them to feel better or manage their diseases. How did you impact their lives? Take some time to allow your brain to release the thoughts.

Emptying our minds helps us to leave work stress at work. Clearing these thoughts allows us to better focus and  truly be present with our families.


2. Talk about it the stress.

Completing a reflection in silence can be a great way to overcome the stress of the day. But sometimes, you might need to talk about it. I often use my drive time to call one of my healthcare besties to talk about my day.

Sometimes just voicing my frustrations out loud helps to clear my mind. Give this a try and call someone who understands. Or talk to yourself- it’s ok. 😉

The fact of letting the thoughts out allows me to leave work stress at work. Once I have cleared my mind of these thoughts, I am able to focus on my husband and kids when I get home.


3. Make a physical sign to leave work stress at work.

Try creating a physical sign to leave work stress at work. This can be literally or figuratively. You can make a conscious effort to remove the overwhelming thoughts as you remove your shoes. Put your bag away as you put away the stress.

Make an effort to release the thoughts as you walk through the doorway to your home. Creating a physical sign can remind our minds it is now time for our personal lives.


It is difficult to leave work stress at work. But if you are struggling with nurse practitioner burnout and lack of work-life imbalance, your life depends on making some changes. Implement these steps to give your family the time and energy they deserve!


If you are bringing charts home, disrupting work-life balance, check out The Nurse Practitioner Charting School’s Blog Page for tips on charting!

Also check out The Time Management and Charting Tips Course to help you chart accurately and efficiently so you can STOP Charting at home and truly leave work stress at work. 


Erica D the NP is a family nurse practitioner and burnout coach. Erica created The Burned-out Nurse Practitioner to help overwhelmed APRNs create work-life balance, overcome nurse practitioner burnout, and advocate for themselves. The Burned-out Nurse Practitioner offers online courses, coaching, and support. Learn more at www.burnedoutnp.com

For time management and charting tips, check out The Nurse Practitioner Charting School– The one stop for all documentation resources created specifically for nurse practitioners. Learn more at www.npchartingschool.com

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