Your ultimate guide to a healthy social life as an agency nurse

By Emily James

It’s no secret that nursing is a more intense career than most. With long shifts that often involve working while everyone else sleeps, it can often feel like you’re missing out on having a vibrant and fulfilling social life. Whether you’re juggling practical placement with nursing school or picking up extra shifts due to shortages in your workplace, it’s understandable that many nurses feel their social life is lacking.

We all lead such busy lives that making more time for social events and activities can feel virtually impossible. That’s why we’ve compiled some tips and tricks for establishing and maintaining some work-life balance and making your social life a priority:

  • Create a schedule
  • Communicate and compromise
  • Focus on you
  • Find nursing work that offers flexibility

Photo by Helena Lopes on Unsplash

Create a schedule

Although making a schedule is not most people’s idea of fun, it can really enable your social life to thrive. By blocking out your fixed commitments, such as work and study, you can begin to identify blocks of free time you can organise social activities within. Identifying your free time well in advance will give you enough time to book a table at that restaurant you’ve been meaning to try, get tickets to that movie you’re interested in or organise a night out with friends without worrying about the next day.

Being aware of your free time also helps you keep it free when accepting extra shifts at work or figuring out when you’re going to finish that assignment. When you lead a busy life without organising your time, your work time and free time can quickly become blurred, meaning you’ll struggle to enjoy your free time and you’ll struggle to get things done in your work time. Plus, knowing when you’ll be free during the day or week gives you something to look forward to and work towards.

Whether this is something you do weekly, monthly or before a busy period coming up in your life, creating a quick and easy schedule will really help you to find and maintain some work-life balance and use the free time you have to the fullest.

Communicate and compromise

As we’re all aware, communication is critical in all areas of our lives, from our workplaces to our personal relationships. When we lead busy lives, it can be tricky to respond to texts or return calls, not to mention miscommunications that arise when responding to messages on the go. Set aside some time each day to respond to messages and emails so you don’t fall too far behind, or create reminders on your phone so you don’t have to worry about forgetting to respond.

And if the few years have taught us anything, it’s that we can’t always get our way. Sometimes, opportunities will come up to catch up with friends that aren’t super convenient for us, but it may be your only opportunity to see that person or attend that event for a long time. These past few years have certainly shown us that we should grab hold of social opportunities when they arise, as they may not come around again for quite some time.

And by learning to compromise, your friends and family will be more likely to recognise your efforts and do the same.

Focus on you

At the end of the day, it’s your social life that you’re trying to improve, not anyone else’s. Don’t feel guilty if you can’t go to that dinner because you’re exhausted from work, or if you spend your day off simply relaxing alone . We all need time to ourselves every now and again, otherwise we’re unable to recharge our social battery and therefore enjoy social activities.

By finding some down time every day in which you can relax and be alone, you’ll find you’ll feel much more ready and willing to be social. Ensure you’re not overloading  your schedule with commitments that cause you to feel stressed, angry or overwhelmed, or you’ll run the risk of becoming burnt out.

If you feel like things are becoming too overwhelming, talking to someone about how you’re feeling can really help. Reach out to a loved one or check out some free mental health resources on combating burnout from BeyondBlue, ReachOut and the Black Dog Institute. You can also find out more about burnout and how to prevent it by reading our blog post “Diagnosis: burnout.”

Find nursing work that offers flexibility

We spend a lot of time working, so finding a role that fulfils you is critical. But in an industry as fast-paced stressful as healthcare, your social time and relaxation time are extra important. Finding a job that acknowledges and supports a healthy work-life balance will help you to love your work just as much as your time away from it.

That’s where we come in.

At Healthcare HQ, we specialise in providing agency nursing jobs to RNs, ENs and AINs (carers) no matter what stage they’re at in their nursing career. With a variety of roles on offer in hospital and residential aged care facilities in the Sydney metro region, we’ll always have agency nursing work that will fit around your busy schedule. We offer flexibility, opportunity and professional support to our agency nursing staff throughout their employment with us and will support your growth and development with online training and frequent communication with you to determine your needs and goals in your nursing career.

So, if you’re ready to take the plunge into agency nursing, get in touch with us today! To apply for work with us, complete our online application form here or email your CV and cover letter to [email protected]. If we’ve piqued your interest but you’re still undecided, take a look at our FAQs or visit our pages on Facebook and Instagram.

Altrius and Jenah, two of our Registered Nurses, spending time together at one of our client facilities.

Disclaimer: The advice provided in this article is general in nature. For more information relating to your individual circumstances, please speak to us directly.

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