You work long hours; perhaps you work multiple jobs. Perhaps you do it because you need the money to survive, to thrive, and to create happy holiday celebrations and memories for your family.
But, think about it! You are only as good as you are to yourself. Take time this holiday season, and if possible, throughout the year, to be good to yourself. Sleep a little longer, hydrate (with water) a little more, play with your kids (outdoors instead of connected to WiFi), make healthier food choices, go to the gym.
Whatever you do, make it about you, and the quality time you will spend, the benefits that you will reap, and how this holiday season will outshine others. How will that make you feel?
We are all stakeholders in the fatigue management process, and we all own it!
The employer can do much to shift the paradigm and create a culture of safety, wellness, and caring. Clear and compelling visions start us along a path of generating a future we deserve to have. In the healthcare setting, everyone assumes responsibility for patient safety and good outcomes.
Any employee is responsible for practicing healthy behaviors that reduce the risk for working while fatigued or sleepy, result in arriving to work alert and well rested, and promote a safe commute to and from work. This is true regardless of the industry in which one works! This responsibility might require that you reject a work assignment that compromises the availability of sufficient time for sleep and recovery from work – for example, when your shift ends at midnight, and you are expected to return to work, fully rested, by 7:00 a.m. We all have different recovery times. Our bodies and minds are unique, and this concept often involves scheduled shifts and mandatory or voluntary overtime. It is everyone’s responsibility to address one’s own, as well as co-worker, fatigue. Employees must be responsible and know their limits.
The system predicts the outcome, and the system must ensure positive outcomes for staff, clients, the public, and patients.
|Attach a sense of urgency
||Partner with staff to ensure consistency of policy and procedures
|Create a collaborative work environment
||Educate and empower staff
|Identify the areas and practices that may result in staff fatigue
||Prioritize fatigue countermeasures and monitor effectiveness
|Evaluate staffing and scheduling practices
||Offer opportunity for feedback and ideas for improvement
|Engage staff in recruitment and retention activities and promote innovative strategies
||Follow the system
“I’m a workaholic, so I ignore the signs of fatigue and just keep going and going, and then conk out when I get home.
It can be pretty stressful.” Keke Palmer
Who owns fatigue…we all do!
The author has consulted with global organizations to create respite centers within healthcare settings. Today’s work environment mandates providing respite centers in all industries.
A Hospital-Based Respite Center
Stress is overwhelming, and workplace stress has become a ‘given.’ We can overcome that stress by creating an internal respite center whose goal is to provide a safe, calm place in which nurses can regain momentum, renew spirit, and refresh themselves. I’ve had the privilege of creating such centers in global locations; these are possible amenities:
- Eye masks for dimming light
- Healthy snacks
- Healthy choices
- Workout area including adjacent paths and exercise room on-site
- Adjustable heating and ventilation
- Noise levels controlled
- Room size approximately 30 x 30
- 4 comfortable chairs with ottomans or recliners
- Massage tables
- Filtered water system
- Control of lighting
- Dark room as needed
- Safe setting
- Showers nearby
- Consistent recognition and rewards for success
- Attention, praise, and rewards are given for wellness achievements
- Values placed on wellness
- Values on lifestyle improvements/enhancements
- PTO for achieving success
- Wellness mentors/mentees
- Peer modeling
- Managers model healthy behaviors
- Walk the walk and talk the talk
- Weight management
- Weight watchers on-site
- Ongoing health promotion
- Orientation for new students/staff
- Participation 100%
- Health calendar emphasis (national health holidays, i.e., diabetes, vision, heart, cancer)
- Benefits of good health
- Ease of access
- Lifestyle changes
For additional information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Life Balance…it is what we do and who we are!
What a pleasure it was to connect with Maia Aziz this morning on BlogTalk Radio. We discussed Life Balance, why it is within your reach, what you can do to make it a reality, and more! Thanks, Maia for the opportunity to share with your listening audience.
What are you doing about balance, or lack thereof, in your own life? Let me show you the way!
From an unrealistic workload due to inadequate staffing and excessive paperwork; fluctuating schedules associated with changing shifts; mandatory overtime; floating without appropriate orientation; and moral and ethical dilemmas, nurses, first responders, police officers, and pilots see and feel it all. Who is the picture of stress management? The answer is Sharon Weinstein, author of B is for Balance, 2nd edition…12 steps to creating balance at home and at work.
Additionally, being single, rearing young families, and/or caring for aging parents are common life circumstances with unique psychosocial and logistical challenges. Many professionals have sought flexible, virtual arrangements in pursuit of balanced personal lives. We all have personal and career goals. By visualizing those goals, we empower ourselves to achieve them. Taking small action steps toward our goals puts them within our reach. How do you manage your stress? What small action steps have you taken?
Why is Sharon the ‘look’ of stress management? It’s simple – she put the B into Balance, and she works at it every single day! Do you?
Prior to her commitment to work/life balance, this registered nurse by education and passion, worked 100 hours per week, 3 countries per week until she missed a family event because of a flight delay in Eastern Europe. The plane had contraband on board, and the delay extended for 4 days. She realized that she needed to shift her paradigm and ‘get a life.’ And that’s exactly what she did!
It is one thing for entrepreneurs to work excessive hours to ‘start-up’ and ‘succeed.’ It is another thing when your job involves working that many hours.
No one became an entrepreneur because of wanting to work less. In reality, entrepreneurs work an incredible number of hours—in excess of 60 a week. Even when entrepreneurs aren’t physically working, they are still thinking about their businesses.
The four-day workweek is nearly standard in the Netherlands, especially among working moms.
About 86% of employed mothers worked 34 hours or less each week last year, according to Dutch government statistics. Among fathers, about 12% also worked a shortened workweek.
Local laws promote a work-life balance and protect part-time workers. What a novel approach, and one that would work for all of us! A consistency when I worked in Eastern Europe was the maternity leave with your job held for you for over a year, including your title and salary.
Don’t do what I did…do what I say, and now do regularly. Create a schedule for yourself that includes downtime – time to be good to YOU! Avoid being a workaholic, whether you are an entrepreneur or an employee. Keep the balance…
Sharon Weinstein is the author of B is for Balance, 2nd edition, winner of 1st place in Consumer Health (2015).