Spare time isn’t something that health workers have in abundance. That said, While the COVID-19 pandemic caused countries and governments to impose lockdowns, trapping people inside their homes, health workers, on the other hand, had to report earlier and do tons of overtime.
Fortunately, we’re out of that phase. Local businesses have opened up. Social distancing is recommended but not a necessity anymore. That said, we now have an excellent opportunity to reflect upon how we spend our lives, especially health workers. Of course, the easiest thing to do in such a time might be to lie on your couch and binge-watch your favorite Netflix drama series.
While that sounds like an exciting thing, is it really how health workers should spend their spare time? How will health workers feel when they look back a couple of years from today and regret the time they wasted watching TV? Sure, incorporating change in our routines and habits might seem scary at first.
However, we can choose to spend our spare time and develop beneficial habits or waste it. That said, let us take a look at how health workers can use their spare time effectively.
1. Continue education
Becoming a healthcare worker requires years of education and hard work. However, the healthcare profession requires lifelong learning, and your education never stops. For instance, after obtaining an initial educational qualification, you will have to acquire the necessary licensing and additional certifications to take your healthcare career to the next level.
With that said, continuing education is a perfect way to utilize your spare time. And luckily, there are tons of online degree programs that allow you to study in the comfort of your home and achieve an outstanding work-life balance.
For instance, nursing professionals can acquire an online degree during their spare time to advance their careers and give their salaries a bump. So, suppose you’re a nursing professional who doesn’t know about a DNP program. In that case, you can open up Google and search for what is a DNP program, and you’ll find tons of details about how it will benefit your nursing career to the type of coursework the degree program involves.
Meditation is a healthy activity that every person should try to incorporate into their daily routine. However, individuals (like health workers) who cannot give two to three hours of their daily time to meditation can practice it for a few minutes every day. After all, doing it for a few minutes is still better than doing it at all.
The benefits of meditation are endless. It improves your self-awareness, controls anxiety, and reduces stress, which health workers need direly. In addition, it is a perfect activity to incorporate into your free time. Not to mention, it will keep you grounded while promoting self-reflection.
3. Catch up on your sleep
Sleep is something that health workers don’t get enough of. After all, SWSD (shift work sleep disorder) and sleep deprivation can negatively affect a healthcare worker’s ability to provide high-quality patient care. In fact, according to the Cleveland Clinic, around 40 percent of shift workers suffer from shift work sleep disorder.
So, it is a no-brainer for health workers to get some sleep whenever possible. And utilizing their spare time is one way to catch up on it.
Also, it would be best to keep a schedule where you take off some spare time to sleep, even on off days. For example, health workers such as doctors and nurses can take a thirty-minute nap before their shift begins. This short nap time allows them to stay away from health issues such as obesity, diabetes, improper digestive function, to name a few.
4. Read books
In today’s modern world, knowledge is timeless. Therefore, the more knowledge you earn, the better it will be for your personal and professional life. Fortunately, reading books related to your professional life isn’t too tricky.
But, if you have spare time, it becomes even more accessible. Knowledge is timeless, and it is why people are still reading books written hundreds of years ago. They are a portal to another world. And if you’re a health worker, reading books related to your profession will only add to your skills and abilities. So, go online and search for eBooks or visit your local library in your spare time. It will be a worthwhile time investment.
5. Learn a new language
Health workers deal with patients from various backgrounds, ethnicity, and education daily. Effective communication is a vital part of direct patient care. In addition, as people from everywhere come to the USA to seek treatment, being bilingual will undoubtedly benefit your professional life. Moreover, learning a second language, such as Spanish or French, will open doors to a wide range of better opportunities. and what better way to learn a new language than in your spare time.
The internet contains countless language resources. It’s just a matter of Googling about the language you want to learn. If online learning isn’t your thing, you can also reach out to hundreds of cultural clubs at your school or your local community to team up with a language coach or mentor.
You may not be a natural-born writer. However, writing is something that will benefit both your professional and personal life. That said, maybe you wanted to write, but you never had the time or the courage to do so. However, it is one of the best ways to utilize your spare time effectively.
Think of famous authors like Anne Frank, Samuel Pepys, or Marcus Aurelius. They wrote for their benefit and not for an audience. However, what they shared in their books inspired millions of people. Health workers can do the same by writing about how their profession affects their lives and what other people in the same field can do to avoid such issues.
That said, your writings don’t have to be a masterpiece. But, sharing your experiences in the medical field with the masses can inspire thousands of other people. Not to mention, reading through your lives experiences will also allow you to reflect upon what you did before to get through your issues, allowing you to get through them again if the same problems arise in the future.
Most health workers have limited time away from their patients and work. So, don’t let this spare time get away from you. Instead, use it in a way to bring value into your life. Consider the methods described above if you’re a health worker looking to use your spare time more effectively. Indeed, you will find something that you’re good at.