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Do you ever feel guilty on your days off (not sick days)?

Updated | Posted
by Ele_phant Ele_phant (New) New Nurse

Has 6 years experience.


Do you ever feel bad or 'spoiled' on your off days? I've worked a lot of extra shifts last 3 weeks and now have 3 days in a row off. I've been looking forward to it so much but now feel like I can't enjoy it or that I don't work enough. Do you ever feel like that? Yet, I know if I booked more shifts I'd be knackered.

LibraSunCNM, MSN

Specializes in OB. Has 10 years experience.

No??? Do you think nurses are obligated to work 24/7 like robots?  Why on earth would you feel that way?

RNperdiem, RN

Has 14 years experience.

No. I work one day a week per diem and feel generous if I pick up extra, so I am working from the opposite direction.

NightNerd, MSN, RN

Specializes in CMSRN, tele, palliative, psych. Has 7 years experience.

Sometimes I get a little guilty pang if my boss calls and asks me to work on my day off. Not that I feel it's my responsibility, but just because I feel bad for whoever is stuck working short. But ultimately, I pick up extra when I want and can, and I work my butt off whenever I'm there, so I already contribute all that I can.

Edited by NightNerd

Emergent, RN

Specializes in ER. Has 28 years experience.

Of course not. I don't know why anybody would feel guilty on their days off. Honestly, I think that indicates that you need psychological help. It's just not healthy sounding at all.

GrumpyRN, NP

Specializes in Emergency Department. Has 39 years experience.

1 hour ago, Ele_phant said:

Do you ever feel bad or 'spoiled' on your off days?  ...or that I don't work enough do you ever feel like that? 

H*ll no!!

If you are working then you are working and we ALL deserve our time off. Continuous working is very bad for your health - both physical and mental. 

Unless you have some form of impostor syndrome or survivors guilt then enjoy your time away and recharge yourself.


Specializes in Adult.

Not in the least.

Davey Do

Specializes in around 25 years psych, 15years medical. Has 42 years experience.

2 hours ago, Ele_phant said:

Do you ever feel bad or 'spoiled' on your off days? 


Being a chronically neurotic malcontent, I felt that if I was unhappy that I deserved to be happy and when I felt happy, I didn't deserve it. I believed that something must be wrong with me if I could be happy when there were so many other unhappy people out there.

So- now that I've affirmatively answered the question, Ele_phant, what shall we do about it?

Jedrnurse, BSN, RN

Specializes in school nurse. Has 29 years experience.

You feel guilty for not being at work on your days off??


Seek help, post-haste...😵


Specializes in Long term care; med-surg; critical care. Has 9 years experience.

 I don't feel like I need psychological help, but I have at times felt the same as the OP. I have never been great at the work/life balance thing and sometimes I feel more than my share of responsibility for when coworkers have to work short. For years I have been the person that they will call to come in on my day off because they know that usually I'm the sucker who will. I'm working on saying no, and I actually left a note in the phone list book for next week telling them not to even bother calling on my week off because I won't be available.

Maybe I have more of an ego than I would like to think. Maybe it's the fact that sometimes I feel like the good that I can do at work is more important than the nothing I'm accomplishing on a day off. I've never been great with downtime, self-reflection, self-care, etc. I've always been a do-er. I'm the person who will volunteer for taking on committees, projects, or tasks in many areas of my life where I feel l can make a positive impact. And sometimes those commitments come at the expense of my own time, and maybe a little of what might be my happiness.  Conceptually I realize that no one at work is sitting around thinking "everything would be better if only JBMmom were here", but I know how hard it is to work short and sometimes I feel like I can help.

That's my long way of saying, yes, OP, I have also felt guilty for my days off. I don't think it's the overwhelming character flaw that some others clearly do, but it is something I'm working on letting go. And I've found some hobbies, so maybe that will help. 

NotMyProblem MSN, ASN, BSN, MSN, LPN, RN

Specializes in Med/Surg, LTACH, LTC, Home Health. Has 35 years experience.

I remember feeling guilty once for about 10 minutes after taking a day when I wasn’t physically ill. That was the fastest 10 minutes of my career. Thank goodness I got over it!!😂😂😂