As a physician, you’re used to dealing with stress. But some days might be tougher than others—especially when there’s no time for self-care.
Here are some simple tips to help you stay on top of your game:
- Take care of your body.
Eat a healthy diet. Avoid processed junk food, eat lots of fruits and vegetables, and limit your intake of red meat.
Get enough sleep every night. This means seven to nine hours per night for most people.
Take time out of each day to relax. Do something fun that can take your mind off work.
If you don’t take care of your body and mind, you may find yourself needing the help of disability insurance firms to pay your bills because you are too sick to work.
- Take breaks from the news.
As a physician, it’s important to take breaks from the news. Music and reading are both great ways to unwind after a long day at work.
Spending time with friends and family will help keep your mind off of the challenges that may be ahead.
- Get outside and moving.
You can get outside and move even if you’re not in the mood to exercise. If your schedule doesn’t allow for a walk around the block, try just taking a stroll along the hospital grounds.
Just because you’re stuck at home or in your office doesn’t mean you have to give up on exercise. Do some push-ups or sit ups, or do some stretches that will help relieve tension from sitting all day.
- Practice daily gratitude.
Gratitude is a habit, not a one-time activity. The more you practice gratitude, the easier it will be to incorporate into your daily life.
You can start by doing an exercise like writing down three things you are grateful for each night before bed or making this part of your morning routine as you get ready for work.
If those options don’t suit you, try starting small and gradually building up to daily practice.
As with any new habit, it may take some time before it becomes routine but there’s no reason why practicing gratitude shouldn’t be incorporated seamlessly into your physician lifestyle.
- Make time for yourself.
It’s important to make time for yourself, even when you feel like you don’t have any.
When you are constantly on the go and trying to take care of everyone else, it can be easy to forget that self-care is not just an option but a necessity. If you don’t take care of yourself first, then how can you possibly care for others?
There are many ways in which physicians can make time for themselves.
It can be done in a big way like taking a vacation or starting a hobby but it can also be done in small ways.
Things like having a quiet morning coffee or lunch with your spouse can also be considered taking time for yourself.
If your stress level is high, taking care of yourself may also mean making some adjustments at work. You need to be realistic with the amount of work that you can take on without succumbing to burnout.
If you think you may have already reached the point of burnout, learn what can be done here.
- Don’t be afraid to lean on others.
If you are struggling with your mood, it may be helpful to reach out to a colleague or friend for support.
In the past, physicians were often afraid to admit their mental health struggles because such an admission could hurt their careers.
However, today there is a greater understanding of what it means to be mentally healthy, and it is not uncommon for physicians to ask each other for help when needed.
- Stay positive, despite the challenges you face.
It’s important to stay positive and not give up. If you are having a hard time with self-care, remind yourself that it is not just possible but necessary for your health.
It will be difficult at first, but it will get easier as time progresses. You might want to start small with your self-care routine.
Remember that many other physicians are going through similar situations as well—this is part of the job description!
Our stress levels are on the rise as we contend with so many challenging events in our day-to-day lives. But you can take steps to stay healthy, even when the world seems like it’s falling apart around you.