If your spouse is a nurse, you can more than understand the anxiety and constant overwhelming feeling that sees you day in and day out. Not only are you constantly worried about the health and safety of someone you love, but you also have to make sure that when they come home, they are mentally and physically okay and ready to get back into the next day.
Nurses at the moment are working up to 12-hour shifts, wearing heavy and suffocating protective gear with little time to eat or even use the bathroom. They see patients fighting COVID-19 daily, family and friends distraught with little time to process what has even happened during their day.
The best thing you can do is make sure they are being well taken care of when they get home. This means having a solid plan for when they come home to relax and not have to worry about anything else. Here are some things you can do to help.
Listen to them
One way to help your spouse is to listen. Listen to what they have to say about their day, patients, fears, and their triumphs. It allows your partner to unwind from their day at work as you get a better sense of what they deal with.
Now is not the time for you to give them your opinions or tell them what you would have done in that situation. Despite your concerns about the situation and your feelings towards your spouse working throughout such a trying time, the best thing you can do is sit with them and go through their day.
Let them feel whatever they need to at the moment, help them let that emotion out, and let it go. Mentally, this will be helpful. Even if it’s not necessarily successful every day, it is worth doing.
Food and drinks
Nurses are working long hours and often do not have time to eat. Try having food ready at home when your nurse spouse comes back.
It can be anything from ordering take-out to a home-cooked meal. Food is fuel, and with such grueling work hours and mentally taxing days, having food in their system will boost their energy for the next day.
Along with food, make sure your spouse also gets plenty of water. Dehydration is a huge issue for nurses as they often will not have time to drink as much as they should (especially with COVID-19 protocol).
Help them out by making sure they always have water or their favorite drinks available. If they are working a night shift, try filling up a large container with ice and putting it in the fridge for it to be cold when they get home in the morning.
Make sure they rest
One of the best things you can do for your nurse spouse is to make sure they get plenty of rest. Getting enough sleep is crucial for everyone, but it is dire for nurses. Nurses are constantly on their feet and have little time to sit down, let alone sleep.
Nurses need their sleep to recover from the long days. Ensure that there is a designated place to sleep, preferably somewhere quiet and dark. You can turn off any nearby electronics and prevent distractions. Try putting up blackout curtains or dimming the hallway lights for them.
Another way to help them rest is by taking over some of their responsibilities at home. For example, help with your children’s homework so that your nurse spouse can have some downtime. You can also complete their chores. That can be anything from grocery shopping and making dinner to picking up the kids from school.
Keeping a clutter-free home
A clear space allows for a clear mind. Therefore, if you can clear out clutter and keep your home looking as simple as it can, then you may be helping out your spouse more than they even know.
Having a set place for everything and knowing where things are can help reduce stress and anxiety. If you know that your home is a safe place to relax, it will be one less thing your nurse spouse has to worry about.
Along with keeping kids, pets or plants fed and watered, coming home to a clean house will take something they usually worry about off their list. If you can do this for them, it can be a great way to show your support.
Just be there for them
Sometimes, all your nurse spouse needs is for you to be there. Whether you are there sitting in silence, watching their favorite show or movie, or just being in the same room as them, your presence can make a world of difference.
After long and emotionally taxing days, sometimes all that is needed is some quality time together. Sometimes words are not even necessary. Just being there for them says more than anything else could.
If you cannot be there in person, send them a text or call to check in on them. For example, reminding them to take a mini-break through text shows how much you care. Just knowing that you are thinking about them can mean the world.
These are just some of the ways you can support your nurse spouse. They work extremely hard to take care of everyone else, so try taking care of them for a change.
Show them that you appreciate all they do for you and your family. Thank them for being there for you, even on the bad days. Nurses are indispensable, and we should show them just how much we appreciate that every day.
At TheraEx Staffing, we know how important it is to have a supportive partner at home. We offer our nursing candidates the chance of flexible scheduling and competitive pay.
We want to help you achieve a healthy work-life balance. Contact us today to learn more about our available positions or feel free to call us at (866) 440-2445.