Add more happiness and balance to your hectic life with these simple suggestions.
It’s easy to get hyperfocused (and overwhelmed) with the daily grind. But that’s precisely when you need to take a step back to refocus on the big picture.You can’t heal patients if you’re too tired, frazzled or overwhelmed.Sometimes, the best thing you can do for others is to focus on yourself, especially in a field where you’re constantly giving to others and responsible for others’ lives.Here are seven ideas for self-care to help you feel refreshed, re-energized and ready for what lies ahead.
Start a new hobby or pick up an old one
Hobbies are more than just something to list on your med school application. They help you stop thinking about medicine and focus on your passions. You don’t have to think about how to pluck a six string or hold a paintbrush. You just do - and let the experience wash over you. Hobbies encourage creativity, and they offer an escape. They add levity to a trying day and can even serve as a way for you to connect with patients.
Read about how some physicians rock out to prevent burnout:
Treat yourself to something special
Sometimes, you just need to treat yourself. Maybe it’s a nice hat, a spa day, electronic gadget or dinner out. Yes, it’s important to be fiscally responsible. But it’s important to remember your value - and that you’re worth splurging on. You can earn more money, but you can’t always enjoy it. So, take a day to remind yourself that you’re worth it.
Find your work-life balance
It’s easy to completely submerge yourself in work, but you need to come up for air. Life is a constant balancing act, but ideally you want to float rather than constantly running, or worse, flailing. Instead of getting everything done, focus on what needs to be done now, what can wait till tomorrow and what you can ask others for help.
It’s easy, and tempting, to leave work, pick something up and plop on the couch. But your family, staff and patients depend on you to be healthy. You don’t need to spend hours at the gym, but you do need to practice what you preach: everything in moderation and exercise regularly. Exercise can build strength, stamina and energy. It can also help you relax, unwind and relieve daily stress. Find a routine that works for you and make it a habit.
Take breaks during your workday
Your days are hectic. You’re lucky if you can scarf down lunch and use the restroom a few times before you head home. But it’s helpful to look (or duck) outside, stretch and be still for a few minutes. Research has shown the importance of downtime and daydreaming. That probably isn’t something you’ll ever have, but it can be good to readjust your posture, practice being present and take a minute to mentally prepare for whatever comes next.
Eat nutritious foods
You don’t have to eat raw broccoli if you don’t like it, but you owe it to yourself, your family and your patients to have a well-balanced diet. You might not be able to focus when you’re hungry or bloated. You need fuel for your long days. Do yourself a favor and load up with nutritious foods that will help keep you going, feeling full and avoid the mid-afternoon slump.
Get enough sleep
There’s always pressure to do more and work harder, but there are only 24 hours in a day. You need to sleep for some, if not several, of them. When you’re tired, you’re more likely to miss something, make mistakes or be in a bad mood. Give yourself a hard reboot by going to bed when you’re tired. Often, those impossible challenges seem possible, or at least more bearable after a good night’s rest.