Twelve Ways To Decompress After Your Shift

Twelve Ways To Decompress After Your Shift

As a dedicated healthcare professional, shift after shift, you make it happen. You help the team first. You prioritize your patient's physical and emotional health over your own. You stay humbly confident, and you tirelessly strive to learn and improve. 

And as a result, you inspire us every time you put on your scrubs and lace up your BALAs. When it comes down to it, your incredible ability to BALAnce your physical and emotional health on and off the clock is the reason we built BALA in the first place.

Even still, you’re human. Of course, despite your on-shift perseverance, your job can take a toll — especially after twelve hours of work. Subsequently, we understand that you need to prioritize moments of relaxation and decompression in order to fully show up at your next shift. 

So, we asked members of our incredible community, The BALA Unit, what they do to relax and reset after their shifts. Here are twelve of their answers — twelve ways nurses, doctors, etc. just like you relax and unwind after putting their all into their shift

“To start, I debrief with my fellow RNs. They understand the complexities of a hard shift more than other people can. I like to go over what went well during the shift, and what went wrong, and seek advice to improve it. Once I get home, I crank the house down to 68 pdegrees, grab a heated blanket, put on something like Bailey Sarian, and cuddle my dog!
—Jessica, HIV/LGBTQI Clinic, RN, Texas

I’m a huge book reader! I love immersing myself into another world after a stressful day.”
—Nora, Out Patient Pediatrics RN, Michigan
I love to drive home with my windows down, music on, mind blank. If work day shifts, and get home at night, a cup of tea and cuddles with my son will do the trick. If I work nights, and get home in the morning, I usually go either for a run or a long walk with my dog.”
—Ivana, ER RN, Missouri 

Self care. This can range from a face masked bubble bath, treating myself to my favorite take-out food while binging shows on Netflix, or throwing on a cute gym outfit and sweating it out. In the end, rough shifts happen and it’s important to know how to decompress and instead of holding it in.”
—Nicole P, Critical Care RN, Nevada

 “On hard days, I really love calling my parents on the drive home and venting about my shift before I go into my house. It helps me leave work at work, and lets me enjoy my evening before getting LOTS of sleep!”
—Emily, Pediatrics RN, North Carolina 

Sleep! Go to the gym, read books, go for walks, get outside, binge Netflix, and spend time with family.”
—Halee, Pediatrics RN, Ohio 

“I surround myself with family and close friends. Or I prioritize alone time if needed, and I do enjoyable yet relaxing things for myself — watching a movie, eating a good dinner and dessert etc.”
—Courtney B, Wellness Clinic RN, Nebraska 

 “After an extremely long shift, I love to take my pup for a long walk in one of the state parks near my house. I can listen to nature, view amazing sites in the park and just breathe.”
—Vicky, Critical Care RN, New York

“I always go to the gym to release endorphins. 10/10 it’s the best stress reliever for me”
—Lindsey, Pediatrics RN, Oregon 

“I take a long shower and nap after every shift!”
—Kennedy, Critical Care RN, Missouri

“I love to take my dog for a walk and have takeout sushi for dinner with my husband.”
—Kendall, Physician Assistant, California

“I usually go for a quick workout or make a well prepared meal. This is necessary for me.”
—Wilson, Medical Student, Mississippi

At the end of the day, it’s important that you take care of yourself. Especially after a long, hard shift. So we’re curious, how do you decompress after a hard shift? Did any of these methods stick out to you? If so, give them a try and let us know how they go! Or, tell us what you like to do post-shift. 
We’re all here to support each other, and we’d love to share your thoughts too. Send us your responses at