To feel alive is to face challenges on a continuing basis. To feel alive in your medical practice is to face challenges times ten!
Despite what some patients think, you are not omnipotent. Contrary to what your family thinks, you don't have an endless supply of energy. If it seems that sometimes everyone is expecting a lot from you, join the club.
While the expectations that others place on us can be burdensome, we don't need to add to the fray by psychologically beating ourselves up over the little things that can potentially cripple us upon a daily basis. Here are some ideas on how to take things in stride and maintain some semblance of balance on a daily basis, despite the myriad of annoying little things that keep popping up:
1. Get a good night's rest. Probably no other tip can be as potentially effective as this one. When you are well rested, you are at your best to handle whatever comes your way. You know that, but how often do you actually take this step toward vital rest on a nightly basis?
2. Build some slack into your schedule. Many highly successful career physicians, in their quest to accomplish even more, sometimes overfill in their calendars and face daily schedules as tight as a drum. If you give yourself some open stretches, up to 15 minutes here and there, you'll find yourself much better able to handle the variety of little things that potentially could trip you up. At least then you'll have a moment of clarity to either handle them, or at least get reflective about them.
3. Become philosophical. There are key phrases you can use almost as affirming type statements that will help you get through the day. One such statement is, "What comes around goes around." One statement that I've adopted over the years is, "Live to fight another day." By that I mean maybe everything isn't going so well today, but what can I take care of, so that another day will go better given, that I've already taking care of some issues today?
4. Seek help. Whether it's with your existing office staff, part-time staff, or resource specialists you can bring in, or your family, friends, relatives, don't be afraid to ask for help. You'd be surprised how eager others might be to offer to you help, especially if it's been a long time (or never) since you've asked
5. Emulate the practice of other professionals. Take a mental health day. This is more than merely taking a vacation day. During such days you don't necessarily need to go anywhere. Perhaps you stay home all day and read, or sit in a hammock. It's your choice, it's your life.