The Work-Life-Fitness Balance: How To Do It All

So this post was requested by a lot of my nursing babes as being a nurse can leave you really emotionally, physically, and mentally drained during the week. BUT! I like to think that this post really applies to anyone as I know so many of us are just BUSY. I will say, that I do feel like nursing has a special place in hell in terms of being so exhausting 😉 but we’re all tired, we all work hard, and we all want to find ways to balance it all. So let’s chat about how to do that!

First, I’m going to talk about tips on how to “do it all” in general, and then I’ll get a little more specific into how I plan my week around my nursing shifts. I think the biggest thing first and foremost is deciding what your priorities are. People say to me, I don’t know how you workout after the hospital. Or, I don’t get how you are able to blog full time and still work as a nurse. And while it’s definitely tiring at times, it comes down to priorities. I know that each day a workout is a priority. I know that my blog is my priority. And obviously, working at the hospital is a priority lol. I mean, that one isn’t really by choice, but you know what I’m saying ha. So, those three main things pretty much dictate my time and I plan my days around them.

That being said, there are days that I’ve had to turn down lunch with friends, or decide that I can’t watch my favorite tv show at night because I need to stay up to work on the blog, meet a deadline for a collaboration, or maybe just get my workout in. While that isn’t the most fun, I know what my main priorities are and again, my day to day revolves around getting meeting those. So for you, you have to look at what are your non-negotiables? What are the things each week that you “have to” do. In deciding this you will get into a routine and habit of finding ways to get those done!

While these main areas are usually where my time gets devoted to, each day is a little bit different. Each morning (or the night before) I make a list with the items that must get done the next day. A lot of these are work related (ie. a blog post, IG photos), while others are my workout, maybe lunch with Stephen. All major things get accounted for so I can plan accordingly.

So speaking about planning accordingly, the next big thing is time management. At the beginning of the day I start with my most important task first. Now, I do like to get my workout done in the mornings, but sometimes I just have to post-pone it for later in the day. Because while I know it needs to get done, it’s something I am doing only for me. It’s not the same as a blog or IG deadline that I have to meet. So those tasks get done first.

Now I’m going to jump into more specifically how I balance everything with nursing. Before I do though, if you really want to nail down your time management I’d highly recommend checking out this post from The Skinny Confidential (may be purchasing a time cube shortly…). Okay, so onto nursing…

For all of us who are nurses (or in nursing school!) the days are long and pretty damn exhausting. Even days that I’m not “busy” at work, I’m like why do I feel so drained? When it comes down to it, there are plenty of days (okay, basically every day) after work that I don’t feel like I have the energy to workout. But again, it goes back to my priorities. Getting a workout in is just what must be done! I mean, does it have to be done? No. But I know myself, and know that I wouldn’t be content if I didn’t workout 5-6 days a week. Again, that is just me. We all have different priorities. But point being is, working out after the hospital is pretty much a non-negotiable. Now, there are definitely shifts that I leave the hospital feeling beyond exhasuted and I end up not working out. This probably happens once every couple months. But if I had that attitude after every shift my gym sessions would definitely fall off. So here’s what I do:

At the beginning of each week, I plan my easiest and quickest workouts for the days that  I work at the hospital. So I clearly NEVER do leg day after work LOL. I may do a quick arm & ab workout, or a shoulder & back workout. Or maybe you choose to do your 35 minutes of LISS on those days. Or maybe you do 25 minutes of abs at home. There are so many options of what you can do before or after your shift. It doesn’t have to be anything crazy, but anything is better than nothing. I also feel like it just puts me in a better headspace. I’m like yay! My whole day wasn’t devoted just to work, I did something for me. I also always make one of my rest days a day that I work. I know a lot of people choose Sunday as their rest day, but if I’m at the hospital Monday-Wednesday, I’m definitely not taking a rest day Sunday! I usually make my rest day after either my second or third shift. Of course I’m the most tired after my third shift, but knowing that I don’t have to get up for work the next day gives me that extra boost of energy to get that workout done.

So, I hope these tips were helpful! I do have another post up that more specifically talks about how you can maintain healthy habits and your workout routine as a nurse (click here to read 🙂 ). But in general, I think a lot of it comes down to priorities. You can’t say yes to everything and expect to get it all done, and to get it done well for that matter. So, you just have to decide what is truly important to you and start from there!

Any other tips you guys want to share?? Let us all know in the comments!


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6 thoughts on “The Work-Life-Fitness Balance: How To Do It All

  1. First, I just want to say I love reading ALL your blogs, but especially your nursing ones. I’m currently a STRUGGLING nursing student. I was wondering if you have any tips from your college experience for studying or just making the most of the whole nursing school experience. Right now it feels like it is going to take forever just to graduate, let alone taking the feared NCLEX. Just wondering if you had any helpful hints and tips. Thanks! -Charity

    1. Hey Charity!! Thanks so much!! So I️ definitely plan to write a blog post on Nursing school but my overall advice would be…don’t stress too much! I️ feel like with Nursing school there is only so much studying you can do—you know, the tears are not black & white. So much is situational so it’s more about test taking that knowing info. Also, I️ remember so many girls would be stressed during nursing school whether it be studying for an upcoming test or project, or they would get upset if they made a C on an exam. At the end of the day all that really matters is that you pass! Those of us that graduated with honors didn’t get any better of a job than those who didn’t. We all passed the Nclex and we all got jobs and now It seems funny to look back and think of all the stress. So I️ guess bottom line is, just do your best but just focus on getting through it. And be sure you still do things for yourself. Even if I️ had a ton of homework I’d still workout everyday because it was a stress reliever and I️ enjoyed it. I️ think it put me in a much better headspace compared to everyone who solely worried about studying 🙂 okay sorry that was so long, hope this helps!!

      1. Hi Claire and Charity!

        I just wanted to reiterate the point that Claire made about passing nursing school. Hospitals look for a well rounded employee not just the GPA star. I know I didn’t graduate with honors, but my resume was pretty full and I let my personality show in the interview and I got the best job offer out of our whole cohort. In no way am I trying to brag about myself but it’s oddly comforting to know that the mean girls in my cohort that had a running poll of who would flunk nursing school (I was at the top of their list) didn’t get half the job I got. Just take a deep breath and don’t kill yourself trying to finish out nursing school. You’re in nursing school because you’re smart and focused. If you direct that towards your studies, clinicals, and subsequent NCLEX studying you will be the best new grad nurse!

        Hope this helps! Claire, thanks for being such an inspiration and role model to me 💜

        Xoxo Alex

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