Maintaining a work-life balance is something that we all strive to accomplish, especially as a locum where you are used to putting the needs of others before your own.
Whether it may be the long overnight hours, irregular routine or minimal breaks, neglecting your own physical and mental well-being can easily be done.
It is a remarkable thing to devote your life to the care of others. However, it’s crucial to have a selfcare plan, even as a healthcare worker.
Failure to maintaining a work-life balance can be detrimental to your personal health as a locum and may manifest in burnout, an alarming trend that is sweeping across the healthcare field.
Work-life balance is the relationship between your work and the rest of your life, and how these commitments affect one another.
Having work-life balance can reduce stress levels, increase focus and concentration, resulting in higher job satisfaction, and health improvement.
THE IMPORTANCE OF MAINTAINING A WORK-LIFE BALANCE AS A LOCUM
According to the Labour Force Survey (LFS) carried out by the Health and Safety Executive, 38.8 million estimated working days were lost throughout 2019/20 due to work-related ill health, stress and depression.
Creating time to rest and recharge before a full day at work is just as important as turning up to your shift. There are a few small changes you can make to gradually help improve your work-life balance not only for yourself but also your family and patients.
Nevertheless, now more than ever, taking the first steps to creating a healthy work-life balance as a locum is vital.
Here are some top tips aimed to help you in maintaining an improved work-life balance as a Locum;
- Manage your time better
- Evaluate your diet
- Invest in Self-care
- Take time from your phone
MANAGE YOUR TIME BETTER
Managing your time effectively may be quite challenging when taking on any healthcare-related position, in return this leads to overtime in most days leaving you with little time to relax.
With so many conflicting demands and patients which are relying on your care, when is it time to head home for the day.
One of the key to maintaining a work-life balance as a locum is to take time to determine the most productive way of completing your task for the day, without having to rush around at the last hour in attempts to leave on time.
In order to better manage your time as a locum, it is advisable you arrive at your shift ahead of time, as this will give you plenty of time to organize your day.
Begin with any tasks that must be allocated to a specific time, beginning with those that are of the highest priority before moving down the list.
Be sure to schedule your breaks into the day as this is vital in ensuring that you remain productive, and stress-free.
After a busy day at work, exercising is probably the last thing on your mind, but creating time for your physical wellbeing can help in maintaining your work-life balance.
Exercising gives you time to release any built-up stress at the same time giving your mind something to focus on aside from work, allowing you to psychologically detach yourself from the pressures of the day.
EVALUATE YOUR DIET
keeping a balanced diet can feel almost impossible, especially when you have to deal with irregular shift patterns and long days.
However, it is vital you ensure to feed your body with the nutrients it needs to remain healthy and energised.
When improving your diet, try to base your meals on incorporating as many food groups as possible. If you have a particularly busy week, consider preparing meals in advance.
INVEST IN SELF-CARE
While having a social life is important, it is vital to invest in self-care so as to maintaining a work-life balance as a locum.
That is remembering to have some quality time for yourself whenever possible. After all, the work-life balance begins and ends with you.
Try using your free time whenever you have it, to do something that makes you happy. Whether it be taking long walks, watching your favorite show, or catching up on a book.
The idea of investing in self-care is to spend valuable free time on things that are stress relieving.
TAKE TIME FROM YOUR PHONE
Spending far too much time on our mobile phones, is something we are all guilty of. As a matter of facts, statistics have shown that people spend an average of 3 hours on their phones daily.
The time spent may seem harmless. However, research has proved that the overuse of smartphones can have a negative effect on the health and well-being of users, affecting their eyesight, hearing, and posture.
In addition, regular exposure to the light emitted from smartphones can disrupt your sleeping pattern, thereby having a significant effect on your productivity.
In other to deal with device-related stress, it is important to give yourself a break from your phone each day and focus on thoroughly unwinding.
You would be surprised how much impact it will have in maintaining a work-life balance as a locum.