The New Year is always a good time to take stock of your life and figure out what changes you want to make. There’s no doubt that 2020 has been a challenging year for anyone in the medical profession, but there is plenty to look forward to in 2021 and beyond. Of course, happiness rarely happens by chance, so you’ll need to take action if you want to enhance your life as a nurse. With this in mind, take a look at these top five ways to be a happier nurse in 2021:
1. Identify Your Goals
Until you know what makes you happy, it’s hard to make meaningful changes. You could spend the entire year rising to new challenges, only to find that you’re left feeling unfulfilled. To prevent this from happening, take some time to really think about the things you want to achieve, both professionally and personally.
Your goals can be big or small and affect any aspect of your life. While major aspirations may take a little time to achieve, you can make a concrete plan of action and get your strategy underway. By breaking goals down into smaller, more achievable targets, you’ll find it easier to succeed. What’s more – consistently reaching these targets will give you the motivation and determination to continue with your plans.
If you want to spend more time with your family, for example, you may want to look for a nursing role which enables you to work part-time. Alternatively, if you want to take on more responsibility at work, you may want to consider taking a leadership course or preparing yourself for promotion.
2. Develop Your Career
Whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been working for years, 2021 could be the year you take control of your career. It’s easy to go to work every day without an overarching plan in mind, but you should always have your eye on the next professional goal you want to achieve.
Alternatively, if you’re an experienced healthcare worker, you may want to increase your autonomy by completing fast-track DNP programs online. A Doctor of Nursing Practice qualification gives you increased earning power, along with more authority in the workplace. Whether you want to become a Nurse Practitioner, a Nurse Educator or a Nurse Anesthetist, a DNP program gives you the skills, qualification and confidence to take the next step.
3. Prioritize Self-Care
It can be hard to put your own well-being first, particularly if you’ve got a lot of other responsibilities. When you’re caring for a family, studying or working full-time, for example, it can be tricky to manage your own needs and make time for yourself. However, self-care is essential. If you want to perform at your best, in any area of your life, it’s vital to incorporate self-care into your life.
Working in healthcare can be extremely stressful, which makes self-care even more important. When you’re dealing with challenging situations on a daily basis, it’s vital to protect your own mental and emotional well-being.
One of the great things about self-care is that it can be anything you want it to be. From creating a relaxation routine that helps you to wind down and get to sleep at night to treating yourself to a long soak in the tub, simply finding ways to relax and re-energize can give you a new lease of life.
4. Take Control of Your Finances
If you’re worried about your financial situation, or you’re not even sure exactly what your financial situation is, it’s time to take control of your money. It’s easy to ignore financial problems at the start but they only get bigger over time. By taking action now, you can prevent things from getting worse and implement a realistic financial plan.
Creating a household budget is an easy but effective way to assess what your income and expenditure is. From here, you can see exactly how to cut your outgoings and make the most of your money each month. In addition to this, talking to creditors or getting independent debt advice can help you to deal with ongoing financial worries. It can feel daunting to address financial issues, especially if you’ve been putting them off for a while. However, assessing your financial situation, reconfiguring your expenses and cutting your costs can improve your lifestyle and reduce your stress levels.
If you are considering furthering your career, don’t overlook the impact this could have on your income. A Registered Nurse in California can earn an average of $106,950 per year, for example, whereas a Certified Nurse Practitioner in the same state can secure an average salary of £133,780 and a Certified Nurse Anesthetist has an average earning power of $212,210.
5. Focus on Health and Well-being
People tend to assume that healthcare workers always prioritize their health and wellness but, in reality, it can be hard to prioritize your own well-being when you’re busy caring for others. However, it’s vital to take care of yourself and enjoy a healthy lifestyle.
When you create a routine that fits with your current lifestyle and is easy to stick to, you’re more likely to make permanent changes. As you begin to feel healthier and fitter, you’ll be even more motivated to make more positive adjustments and, before you know it, you’ll have achieved your goals and be setting new ones.
Give Yourself a Break in 2021
There’s no doubt that healthcare workers have been under immense pressure over the last 12 months. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread around the world, things aren’t likely to get a whole lot easier any time soon. However, this doesn’t need to hold you back.
By recognizing your achievements thus far and allowing yourself to take a break whenever you can, you can ensure that you’re rested and re-energized when you return to work. What’s more – allowing yourself some downtime gives you the opportunity to focus on the changes you want to make and to implement a successful plan of action.