Your worst day could be someone’s best

Your worst day could be someone's best.

It’s so easy to get caught up in our own lives, particularly what we feel like we are lacking.

You might feel like your job sucks. Your clinic manager doesn’t understand. Your supervising physician dislikes nurse practitioners. You are stuck in a dead end job with no way out. If you have people around you that are also negative, it is hard to think positively. It is easy to live life with negativity and unhappiness.

As burned-out nurse practitioners, we may need to take a step back and change our perspective. We need to see ourselves with a different light. This post will discuss four different ways we can change our perspective and gradually overcome nurse practitioner burnout.

1. Be grateful.

One of the ways to help change our perspective is by becoming more aware of things we are thankful for. This is something I started doing on my own burnout journey and I still do it to this day! Spending time every day to identify what you are grateful for will help you live a happier and more fulfilled life.

This task does not have to be difficult, you can identify small things, like when a patient gives you a compliment or eating your favorite cookie for dessert. Identifying these small things change our perspective and teach us to be grateful. Click here to learn how to create a daily gratitude list.

2. Reflect on the positives of your job.

Similar to a gratitude list, identifying good things about your job help you to shift to a better perspective. Think about the patients you get to work with and make a difference for. Think about that one coworker that always offers to help when you get swamped. Think about the income you generate as a nurse practitioner- it’s likely higher than most people. Even though you wish you made more money, there are people in this world that only dream about a high income. Maybe your clinic manager always sticks up for the providers when talking to administration. Maybe you love that you now see your patients, kids and grandkids. Reflect on the positives of your job and see your perspective slowly change.

3. Compliment or thank someone.

Remember a time when you received a heartfelt thank you or compliment. How did it make you feel? It probably felt good to be appreciated. Have you ever said kind words to someone else and felt good about it? Work on becoming aware of the good things someone does and make sure to thank the person.

Also work on noticing the small things that bring you a bit of joy. If you totally love your coworkers outfit or the way a patient cares for their child, give them a compliment. It’s nice to be thanked or receive compliments, so don’t hold anything back! You will feel good about making other people feel good!

4. Give service.

Similar to giving appreciation and compliments, it feels good to help out other people. I’m not talking about becoming a people pleaser (this no longer feels good to help out). I am talking about giving service to others only when it feels good to you! We can’t run on empty tanks so if you’re giving more to others instead of yourself, work on putting your needs first.

I am talking about helping someone when it doesn’t completely empty the tank. Spend a few hours over the weekend volunteering at the soup kitchen. Donate your time at the “free clinic” in your community. Offer to babysit or carpool the neighbors kids. Helping other people in these situations helps us feel like we are making a difference. Giving service to others helps us change our perspective.

I hope these tips help you to change your perspective and create a more fulfilling life. This is one way to overcome nurse practitioner burnout!

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

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

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