“Burnout,” a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion, plagues medical professionals worldwide. According to Medscape’s 2018 National Physician Burnout & Depression Report, 42 percent of physician respondents experience burnout. Unfortunately, this high level of stress often begins in medical school, intensifying as a physician’s career progresses.
Burnout leads to severe consequences, including irritability and medical errors. Instead of learning proper stress management, medical students and professionals often fall into unhealthy habits to avoid dealing with burnout. Severely unhappy physicians tend to lose sight of their love for medicine, reduce their hours, leave their practices, and consider early retirement.
To maintain a happy career, it’s important to make your personal wellness a priority throughout your medical journey and engage in effective coping mechanisms. In honor of National Stress Awareness Month, we are providing five healthy ways to help physicians combat stress and burnout.
- Take vacations
Time away from the hospital improves your overall well-being. It’s important to take advantage of the vacation time you’ve been allotted or your time between locum tenens assignments, plus you have something to look forward to when work becomes stressful. Blocking in true downtime allows you to hit the refresh button and enjoy your well-earned time while crossing off a destination from your bucket list. When you return to the hospital or move to another location, you’ll be surprised at your fresh outlook!
- Get moving
Exercise is a healthy way to destress; endorphins are natural stress-zappers! Thankfully, there’s an array of physical activities to help you get up and get your blood flowing, no matter your interests and physical ability. If you’d rather strengthen your mind and body, check out a yoga or barre studio. For an adrenaline rush, participate in a sport like skiing or surfing. Otherwise, you can hit the gym for a quick workout or run.
- Seek spirituality
Depending on the person, spirituality can have a variety of meanings. No matter your outlet, find an activity that makes you feel grounded, whether it’s meditation, a religious affiliation, or simply immersing yourself in nature. Once you have your preferred outlet, incorporate it in your schedule.
- Fuel your body
It’s important to get a consistent amount of sleep and eat a balanced diet. You’ll find that if you sleep too little (or too much) your performance can slip. Similarly, eating improperly can cause you to feel sluggish and can impact your ability to focus. Even though you may have to schedule these necessities into your day, allotting time for meal prep or getting an extra hour of sleep ensures that your body is taken care of, which benefits you significantly in the long run.
- Quality time with loved ones
The minute your career starts to encroach on your time with your family and friends, it can put stress on those relationships and negatively impact your mental health. Do not sacrifice memories and quality time. Even if you are able to spend only a few minutes of your undivided attention, you should. Being in the moment and dedicating that time, no matter how little, could lift your spirits and make you feel more balanced.
If you’re searching for your next opportunity, call Medicus Healthcare Solutions at 855.301.0563 to explore locum tenens opportunities with an experienced recruiter, and read our blogs for tips, the latest news and trends, and other helpful information.