Burnout occurs when the stress of your profession leaves you feeling both physically and emotionally exhausted. Although anyone can experience burnout, those in the healthcare industry are especially prone to it. The highest level of physician burnout happens to women in the medical field, those just starting out, and first-year residents.
Many physicians report they no longer feel empathetic towards their patients and don’t feel like they’re making a difference. These feelings can lead to adverse patient outcomes. If it’s not handled quickly, it may lead to alcoholism, being fired, or cause physicians to leave the field of medicine altogether. In this article, we will address how you can manage burnout and prevent it from happening altogether. Remember: you can’t help others if you don’t help yourself first.
1. Prioritize Your Health
You spend all day focusing on others’ health and forget to take care of your own. You must make time for some type of physical activity at least three times a week and eat healthily. Part of taking care of your health is making sure you also get a good night’s sleep. It may be impossible to do as a physician, but it is essential to your health. This is the first and most important way you can prevent burnout.
2. Spend Time With Friends and Family
Isolation is one of the signs of burnout. In order to help combat this make spending time with friends and family a priority. Spending time with people, we care about enables you to cope with stress and improves your emotional well-being. We’ve all heard the saying how laughter is the best medicine; it’s actually true.
3. Practice Mindfulness
There are many ways you can practice mindfulness other than sitting in a quiet place meditating. Instead of waking up and jumping right out of bed, take a minute to sit and relax. This does not mean rolling over and hitting your snooze button. Occasionally throughout the day, take a few breaths to center yourself and see how you’re feeling. Take your time when you’re eating to taste your food. Many people rush through eating without realizing what they were eating, much less if it tasted good or bad. Of course, if meditation and yoga are something you enjoy, they are terrific ways to practice mindfulness.
4. Take Time Off
Many people resist the idea of taking time off, but it is essential for your mental health. Instead of putting off vacation time, just go. It gives your brain and body a chance to reboot, plus it’s an excellent way to reduce fatigue. It may sound counterintuitive, but taking time off of work can increase your productivity. This is because your mind is getting a break from the same old routines.
5. Find A Support Group
This idea is something that most people dismiss at first. They think that going to a support group may be a sign of weakness or think no one can be in the same situation as they are. This belief is untrue. Everyone needs to be heard and know there are others out there that feel the same way.
6. Consider Your Changing Your Specialty
Doctors specializing in a specific area tend to work longer hours and make less than those who don’t do specialized medicine. A higher rate of burnout can occur because of problems with colleagues and having to be on call. We’re not saying hurry and quit your job, but perhaps consider expanding your medical practice. There are many different types of general practitioners positions open at PracticeMatch.com.
7. Reduce Technological Burden
One of the most stressful things physicians deal with is the technological aspect of their jobs. While technology is supposed to make things more efficient, doctors find that taking the extra time to learn how it works and do all of the paperwork at the end of the day is difficult. Many of them say that the amount of paperwork causes them to stay late at work, or when they get home, they’ll have to finish the paperwork. This kind of burden prevents them from getting a good night’s sleep or being able to engage in other activities.
8. Delegate Tasks
Many times physicians don’t like to delegate and instead will take on all of the burden themselves. If you want to reduce your chances of burnout, start assigning other people tasks; Distribute duties among colleagues. Set realistic expectations for yourself, so you’re not overwhelmed.
9. Find Time To Read A Book
Although you love the medical field, sometimes it’s nice to take a minute and read about something other than medicine. Find a good book that has absolutely nothing to do with medicine, curl up in your favorite chair and read. Don’t worry about cleaning, don’t worry about how your practice is going; just give your brain a break.
10. Start A Hobby
You have to have some interests other than medicine. If so, what are they? Take time to explore different things you’re interested in and then find something you really enjoy. When you figure out what you like, do it. You don’t have to be the best at it; in fact, it may be great if you were a novice. What fun it would be learning about something totally new you’ve never done before. Maybe you’ve always wanted to paint but were always too busy. Now’s the time you should start.
11. Take a New Class
Learning is a great way to prevent burnout. You don’t have to do something related to the medical field. One idea is to take a class about the hobby you’re interested in. Want to paint? There’s a ton of painting classes out there. You could even look into going to some paint parties. These are really fun and a great way to meet new people.
Burnout happens and has become a significant problem in the medical field. It can increase the risk of misdiagnosis due to the emotional impact and make you physically sick. This issue needs to be addressed in order to help combat the adverse effects of burnout.
Thankfully, there are proven ways to help prevent and manage the symptoms of burnout. Finding ways to help physicians lighten their workload and decrease the tremendous stress of their job is essential. Giving them access to gyms, education, and self-help groups are great ways to help reduce stress and promote a healthy lifestyle.