Self-care is one of the tools nurse practitioners should implement to help overcome their nurse practitioner burnout. However, actually implementing self-care is easier said than done. It usually gets pushed to the wayside because other priorities take its place.
The #1 excuse I hear nurse practitioners make is “I don’t have time for self-care.”
Nurse practitioners have very busy jobs and personal lives and it is difficult to find time to implement self-care.
If you have experienced nurse practitioner burnout, you know what it is like to pour from an empty cup. When you have nothing left to give, it seems impossible to take care of yourself. But putting your mental, physical, emotional needs first is vital when overcoming nurse practitioner burnout.
Remember self-care is not selfish. It should be a priority for all nurse practitioners to prevent or overcome nurse practitioner burnout.
Here are three ways to find time to implement self-care.
Identify the positives of self-care.
It is true that self-care takes time. And if you are staying late at the office, charting at home, have an imbalance in work and life, it can be difficult to “find the time” to implement self-care. However, nurse practitioners need to realize the return on investment of their time.
When you are able to implement self-care how does it make you feel? Do you experience peace of mind, relaxation, fulfillment? Do the problems at your nurse practitioner job seem less important after putting yourself first? Do you have more mental, emotional, physical energy to then take care of others?
Realizing the positives self-care gives us is one way to ensure we implement it daily.
Set your priorities.
Another way to avoid the “I don’t have time excuse” is to set your priorities. There are only 24 hours in a day. It is impossible to accomplish everything while working as a nurse practitioner.
What is important to you? Is it more important to take care of yourself or spend an extra hour at work? I know it can be hard to prioritize your own health when you are constantly consumed by work. However, identify what you need to focus on the most.
Set boundaries with your employer. Stop being a people pleaser. Surround yourself with positive, like minded people. Use smart phrases to save time charting. Check out The Nurse Practitioner Charting Course to learn time management and charting tips.
Identify what is most important to you during this season of life. Adjust your schedule and prioritize what you need.
Make your self-care fun/important to you.
Each nurse practitioner is different based on their personal and work experiences. Something that might stress you out might not matter to another person. Something that brings you peace and fulfillment might not have the same effect on someone else. We have to remember to find self-care that matters to us.
Self-care comes in many different forms. Self-care for me is daily exercise. Ensuring rest and relaxation on the weekends. Spending time with my kids. Self-care for me is also financial security. When I finally saved up a 6month emergency fund, I felt this sense of peace. I could relax knowing if something happened, I had money to cover our household expenses.
Self-care is not only caring for ourselves physically. But also mentally and emotionally. What kind of activities or security gives you peace of mind. Self-care comes in many different forms and is different for every nurse practitioner.
Take some time to identify the positive benefits that come from implementing self-care. Work on prioritizing what is important to you. Identify what self-care looks like for you. It does not have to be perfect, nor the same every time. But I encourage you to make an effort to restructure your time and implement self-care as a nurse practitioner.
To read more helpful blog articles about implementing self-care, creating work-life balance, and conquering burnout, check out The Burned-out Nurse Practitioner’s blog page.
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