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Finding a balance

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Don’t let your training be draining. Handling work pressures can be tough so Happy Nurse, Claire Westwood, outlines some tools to help you stay on top of your work and get the most out of your life

Use the Wheel of Life

This tool (see image right, click to zoom) allows you to look at the areas of your life and make small changes to get better results.

First, sit down with the wheel and think about how happy you are with each area of your life. How is your health? Money? Work and study? Rate each from 1 (bad) to 10 (excellent). Then, think about what you would like in that area. Revisit the wheel each week to keep you on track. Think about what you want and how you are doing. Keep making small tweaks to take you closer to what you want. Nothing is perfect, but things can always be improved. Do this with someone and keep each other on track.

I coach lots of nurses who start feeling pretty hopeless about work issues, but can find clarity and motivation by making some simple changes.


It is extremely important to take time out to look after yourself despite the demands and pressures of work, study and family. You cannot care for others if you are tired.

Try listening to some music and just relax. Many nurses find this difficult, as I did. You can also learn to meditate - this slows the pulse and creates a feeling of peace.

Take time out to relax and notice how much more you get done and how good you feel. People who take a lunch break get more done in the day than those who keep going through their break.

Make the most of it

Take time out every day to do something that makes you happy.

Get some help if you are not coping. There are many places where you can go to get support. We can often feel that we “should” be able to cope with everything, especially if others seem to be doing well. It is not a competition, so make sure you have the support for getting through all you have to do while training.

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