Healthcare can be a rewarding career if you have a true passion for helping people. It’s not easy, though: long shifts, managing lots of patients at once, plus a lack of proper self-care can all lead to burnout.
A common problem for nurses, care assistants and support workers, exhaustion has become more common since the COVID-19 pandemic – and even if you love what you do, recurring burnout can lead to serious health problems.
So, what’s the solution? In short, it’s vital to learn how to de-stress and relax after a stressful shift, and find space to prepare for the next day.
Here are ten practical ways to build self care into your day and wind down after work.
1. Put your phone on silent
Once your shift ends, silence notifications on your phone (and work laptop, if you have one). Doing this will stop you from checking messages or emails after you’ve clocked out for the day.
Your time after work should be all about you. If you live with family or beloved pets, spend some quality time with them, but don’t discuss work if possible. A good work-life balance as a care professional can be challenging, but it’s possible if you set boundaries for yourself.
2. Get regular exercise
So many benefits come with regular exercise, including stress relief. If you’re not a fan of going to the gym after work or have little energy left over for serious exercise, consider moderate exercise like walking your dog, riding a bike or swimming to relieve stress.
If you need company while you work out, join an exercise class. Find an activity that relaxes your mind and keeps you from thinking about your job.
3. Use a weighted blanket
Snuggle up with a weighted blanket while resting on the couch or bed to relieve stress after work. Weighted blankets are a type of “pressure therapy”, which can produce a calming feeling across your entire body. These blankets feel like a hug, which can be a welcoming sensation after a stressful shift at work.
If you have sleeping troubles, weighted blankets can also encourage better sleep, which leaves you feeling refreshed and well-rested when you wake up.
4. Start journaling
Jotting down your feelings after a long day can help relieve stress. Writing in a journal can let your emotions flow and help you solve issues you’re facing in your career or personal life. Journaling can help you gain a better understanding of yourself, too.
You can journal in a notebook, on the computer, or in a structured mindfulness journal to organise your thoughts.
5. Take a warm bath or shower
One of the best ways to wind down after a stressful day is to take a nice, warm bath. Feel free to add bath bombs, epsom salt, bubble bath and candles to set the mood. If baths aren’t your thing, consider a hot shower, which can help relieve muscle tension while helping you relax and clear your mind.
6. Practise mindfulness
Mindfulness practises, such as deep breathing, meditation, yoga and Tai Chi, can help you relax after a stressful day at work. These practices can be as quick as five minutes or up to an hour, depending on your needs.
To improve your sleep, try these methods right before bed.
7. Read a book
Are you a bookworm? Consider reading a book to de-stress after work. Books can provide entertainment while helping you clear work-related troubles out of your mind. Apart from providing stress relief, reading also improves your memory and attention span.
It can be difficult for some people to read for a long time every night, but aim to read for at least 15 to 30 minutes if possible.
8. Indulge in a hobby
Having hobbies after work can relax you and put your focus elsewhere. Gardening, cooking, doing word searches and knitting are just a few examples of hobby activities you can try.
Also, if you’re not too tired after work, see if there are any events, like bingo, karaoke or calligraphy classes you can attend. Not only will these activities help you learn new skills, but you will meet new people as well.
9. Cook dinner
Try out that recipe saved in your phone after work. Cooking is a therapeutic way to relieve stress – and you get a tasty meal out of it, too. Also, cooking is a way to stay away from your phone, which can reduce your stress.
10. Use Florence to relieve stress after work
Try Florence if you’re having trouble finding out how to de-stress after work. Florence supports care professionals like you by letting you choose shifts that fit your schedule. By controlling your work day, you can feel more relieved after you’ve clocked out.
Other stress-busting benefits of Florence include:
- Instant Pay. Worry less about your finances by getting up to 60% of your pay as soon as your timesheet is approved.
- Florence Perks. Enjoy a range of discounts, paid referral schemes and support tools.
- Florence Academy. Brush up on training and learn new skills for free with plenty of amazing and insightful courses like our First Aid course when you sign up for shifts as a Florence professional.
Click here to find out more or sign up with Florence today.
Take care of yourself
It’s important to take care of yourself and unwind after a busy shift. So put that phone on silent, write something in your journal and set some time aside for hobbies. Go ahead – kick back and find your own personal way to de-stress after a rewarding day of care. You've earned it!
Florence can help you find flexible shifts near you, take essential training courses and improve your work-life balance. Find out more and sign up today.
You might also be interested in:
- 5 Summer childcare options for care professionals
- Six tips to de-escalate challenging situations on shift
- How to set yourself up for success on shift in 5 steps