Doctors carry a great deal of responsibility. Working long hours, interacting with many patients on any given day, and being subjected to life or death situations can become very stressful. Tack on the mental energy required to deal with fellow medical professionals plus balancing work and a personal life has the potential to lead to burnout and medical mistakes if you don’t know how to reduce everyday stresses.
There are several things doctors can do to maintain a healthy lifestyle in order to be more productive and not experience burnout.
The first step is to make a commitment to living a more mindful, balanced life. This requires a shift in mindset and paying attention to the things that are wasting your time while being more focused on your priorities. If you want to spend more time with your kids or a significant other, spend less time shopping online or watching mindless TV. Say “No” to the negative people in your life who suck your energy by their constant complaints.
One of the best ways to reduce stress is to get outside and exercise, whether it’s walking for 10 minutes each day or doing some type of outdoor activity. Besides the physical benefits of exercise including increased fitness and keeping diseases at bay, exercise helps to improve mental clarity including alertness and concentration.
Just about every doctor knows this, but how many actually do exercise on a regular basis is few, so it helps to have a reminder every once in a while. Finding a partner to exercise with helps to keep you on track and accountable.
Another great way to reduce stress is to find a hobby that activates your creativity. Do something fun that you can really get into so that it recharges your energy. A hobby helps you get “lost in the moment” and is very relaxing. You’ll go back to work feeling more inspired and passionate about what you do.
Much of our stress begins in our mind, so it’s also very important to develop a healthy positive mindset. Stop focusing on past mistakes and stop worrying about what could happen in the future. Negative beliefs can take a hold of our mind and have power over us, which can drain us emotionally and spiritually.
Reducing doctor stress is one step to developing a healthier and happier medical community. A more relaxed, calm doctor can be more effective in their work and contribute to a better healthcare environment.
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