It’s no secret that working in the medical field is stressful. Whether you’re seeing patients or are in the fast-paced ER, medical professionals are bound to feel stressed out from time to time. If you’re struggling to find a balance between work and your stress you’re not alone. Here are five self-care tips for doctors and medical professionals to help ease stress.
1. Seek Out Resources
Doctors and medical professionals are not alone when they’re overwhelmed by stress. There are many resources out there that can help physicians find new methods to manage their stress. If you work in a hospital setting or large practice, you can reach out to your colleagues to see if there are resources available.
Some larger employers have groups, seminars, or events that are designed to help employees manage their stress. There are also tons of resources online that are specifically created for physicians. Check out sites like Physicians Thrive that offer guides on many different topics physicians face in their day-to-day lives. Many types of books and articles can help physicians take the first steps toward managing stress from work lower your medical expenses.
2. Create Work-Life Balance
While this may sound impossible when working in medicine, one great way to reduce stress from work is to make sure you are balancing it with your personal life. Everyone deserves to enjoy the time they have outside of the workplace. While there may still be long shifts and emergencies from time to time, physicians and medical professionals can greatly reduce their stress by creating a work-life balance.
This means taking vacation days when you’re feeling burnt out. Or making sure that you leave when your shift ends. If you feel that your work schedule is spilling into your personal time too often, you can speak with your coworkers to figure out a plan to switch up your shifts to create something that feels more balanced. You may also have to set boundaries by turning off your work phone and letting colleagues know that you will not be available for certain hours outside of the workplace. Creating this balance can be tricky and there may be things that pop up now and then, but it’s important to be able to recharge and destress.
3. Take Care of Your Physical Health
It’s easy to neglect your physical health when you are always working on keeping others healthy. But taking care of yourself is a great way to reduce stress. You can do this by eating a healthy diet and consistently exercising. While all exercise can help reduce stress, particular exercises help target and reduce stress as well. Participating in activities like yoga can help physicians recenter while practicing breathing and mindfulness all at the same time.
It can be hard to find time to exercise with a busy schedule. So finding ways to add exercise to your routine is another great way to take care of yourself. Maybe it’s taking an evening walk in your neighborhood or playing games outside with your family. You could also join a sports league once a week to get together with like-minded people and move your body. Taking the time to support your physical health will not only help your stress but also how well you’re taking care of yourself.
4. Hang out with Family and Friends
When you’re always busy with work, it can be hard to find time to hang out with family and friends. But building relationships and holding strong to them can help reduce stress. Your family and friends provide a way to have fun when you have a demanding job. They also help you stay connected to your life outside of work. You can find little ways to make sure you spend time with these people, like inviting friends over to cook dinner together or making designated family time during the week. These otherwise small things can make a huge difference in your self-care routine.
5. Keep Organized
Working in medicine is demanding and doesn’t always leave time to get your life together. One way you can take care of yourself and make life a little easier is to stay organized. This can be small things like setting out your clothes for the next day or keeping a calendar on the fridge. Creating a schedule for your personal and work life can also help you stay on task and avoid getting overwhelmed.
Self-care takes a bit of work, but it pays off in the long run. When working in such a demanding field, it’s necessary to take time for yourself to make sure you’re surviving the stress. Starting small by getting organized and balancing your personal and professional life will help you manage your stress and feel happier every day.