Nursing school was boot camp. My classmates and I worked long, hard hours, learning how to take care of our patients. Another thing my classmates and I learned was the secret to nursing longevity. Our teachers said that if we followed three rules, we would stay in the nursing profession forever: Wear comfortable nursing shoes when reporting for duty, work together as a team when giving patient care, and live life to the fullest. Even Florence Nightingale knew how to have fun, and we all know what great things she did as a nurse. Here are some tried and true tips on preventing burnout, while enjoying your nursing career.

Does this look familiar to you? Look at these nurses putting out a fire. They are working as a team.

I worked yesterday evening and I all I did for eight hours was run around in circles, trying to keep the unit from falling apart. Everyone needed PRN medications, the phone wouldn’t stop ringing, two psychotic patients tried running off the unit, and one staff member, a tech, went home without telling anyone he was leaving. We didn’t know he had gone home until a patient told us he saw the staff member leave the unit, carrying his backpack and coat. For the rest of the night I looked at the charge nurse and said,“I go home now, OK?” She bristled and then thanked me for at least asking before I eloped from the unit. We made it through the rest of the shift because we could laugh about what was happening, and we worked together as a team.

Life is a balancing act. I’ve learned to take time for myself during the day as a way of preparing for work. Do you remember that yoga class I told you about? I really love it. Yoga makes me feel twenty years younger and gives me more energy. If you want to get through your shifts without pulling your hair out, find the time to do things that make you happy.

Look, it’s nurses gone wild! Ok, so maybe they aren’t going wild, but they look like they’re having a good time. Laugh with your friends and don’t be so serious. So what if people think you’re a little crazy. Do what these nursing are doing, take a walk, climb a tree, and have some fun. Remember, life is too short to be normal.