Every nurse looks forward to their days off. Sometimes, there is only one day off, bookended by shifts around it.
Regardless, even that one day is so welcome and so wonderful… nurses will countdown the minutes. If the off time is longer, you may not even be able to contain your excitement.
So, what should you do with your hard earned, much beloved time off? You should make the most of it, of course, but you need to do things for yourself that will help you feel happy even when you go back to work.
Sleep, have fun, and experience family and friends, but don’t just watch Netflix. You need to take advantage of it, decompress, and forget about nursing for a little while.
Sleep is so restorative and so welcome on your day off. Unfortunately, you can sleep through your day off, so you need to be careful with sleep.
Although it will make you feel better, you should try to limit sleep to eight hours so that you can take the rest of the time for other fun activities.
It will also lead to depression if you do nothing but sleep. You may feel like you are just going right back to work.
The balance may be difficult, but sleep can be a double edged sword. Get what you need, but don’t overdo it.
See Family and Friends
One of the reasons you don’t want to sleep all day is because it is important to see family and friends. In fact, you may NOT be able to sleep due to family obligations.
Your family and friends need to see you, but you need to seem them too. You need to remember why you are working in the first place.
Some nurses work for the ability to care for patients, but we all work to make sure our families are cared for, too. Nurses are lucky in that they get to make a difference and provide support to those they love.
Don’t forget to spend quality, fun time with your family and friends. This can make you feel better about the time you spend at work and create memories for you that will last long after your nursing career is over.
Please have some fun! Nursing is mostly not fun, and fun can be particularly lacking in the life of a nurse.
What is fun? Well, that’s up to you, but it probably should not involve copious amounts of alcohol – at least, not all the time.
Fun can be hanging with your kids, going on a road trip, or participating in a hobby. Everyone’s idea of fun differs, but the need for it is critical when you work as a nurse.
Don’t spend your day off worrying about the shift before or the shift to come. Unwind with something that takes your mind off of the stress and blow off some steam before you hit the unit for your next shift.