Self-care and general health tips for medical professionals

November 13, 2020
John Moran

The following self-care and general health tips will keep you prioritizing your health and not just the health of your patients.

There’s no doubt that medical professionals lead hectic lives; the mental and physical strain of the industry is extraordinarily demanding when compared to the demands of most other professions. While medical practitioners such as nurses, doctors, surgeons, and many others are often at high risk of burnout, self-care and efforts to optimize general health are undeniably important.

While medical professionals spend their working hours stressing the importance of ideal healthy habits and encouraging patients to partake in self-care routines, it is not at all uncommon for professionals working in the medical sector to overlook their own needs. Even though this result is a mere factor of overwhelming schedule and endless working hours, the following self-care and general health tips will keep you prioritizing your health and not just the health of your patients.

Schedule Routine Checkups

Just because you are a passionate medical professional does not mean that you will not require health checkups. Regardless of your job title, you should make it a priority to book routine checkups with a trusted general practitioner to evaluate your blood pressure, blood sugar levels, and various other factors that are vital to overall health.

However, GP appointments are not the only essential checkups you will need to prioritize as your oral health is critical too. It will be extremely beneficial to book an appointment with a dental practice near you at least twice each year. The general condition of your oral health is essential for various reasons that range from the first impression you can give your patients to managing tooth sensitivity and everything in between. Neglecting dental appointments can lead to unnoticed cavities that snowball into more discomforting dental issues.

Stress Management Methods

Medical professionals are well-known for leading chaotically busy lifestyles as working conditions are undeniably demanding. Therefore, you should have a few stress management methods to help you cope with the mental demands of your job. Stress management methods can include breathing techniques, meditations, and even religious prayers. Regardless of the methods, you find appealing and realistic; it is vital to have stress management methods as a go-to when you are feeling overwhelmed.

However, when it comes to practicing learned stress management techniques and methods, you may feel discouraged by your insanely chaotic work schedule. Even though you may feel that your busy days will leave no time for efforts at reducing your stress levels, you will be able to find a few minutes now and then by carefully evaluating your work schedule. Giving yourself even five quick minutes to relax can make a massive difference in stress and anxiety.

Devote Some Time to Exercise

Once again, you are likely under the impression that your schedule will not allow you the time required to exercise as often as you need to, enhancing your time management skills may provide you with enough time. You could devote half an hour to a morning jog, or relaxing yoga. You already know the exceptional benefits that a few minutes of exercise will provide you with, as you are likely encouraging your patients to identify an available time in their days for physical activity.

Conform to A Balanced Diet

The food that you choose to eat will determine your energy levels, nutrient intake, and even your overall mood for the day. Even though you are tasked with a busy schedule that may render fast foods and convenience meals a seemingly suitable solution, eating unhealthily can enhance your chances of burnout and negatively impact your ability to function at your best. Even though eating healthy can be more challenging for those with a busy work schedule, meal prepping guides often aim to drastically reduce the amount of time it takes to eat healthily.

You may find that spending a few minutes meal prepping just one day per week will enable you to enjoy the benefits of a balanced diet. As there is meal prepping guides and recipes readily available online for daily snacks, evening meals, and everything in between, you will be able to craft a suitable eating plan for yourself that won’t consume the little bit of free time you have to yourself.

Quality Sleep and Enough Relaxation Time

As a medical practitioner, you don’t need to be informed of the positive and negative impacts that sleep quality can have on your body and your mind. However, you may be neglecting your sleep quality out of habit. Instead of pushing yourself to your limits and risking burnout, you should consider reading sleep environment guides that will help you better decorate your bedroom for quality sleep. Alternatively, considering natural sleep aids may be enough to enhance your ability to get a good nights’ rest every night.

In addition to improving your sleep quality, it is also essential to find the time to relax and unwind in the evenings when you are not at work. Whether you choose to relax by reading a good novel or enjoying the tranquility of your backyard, relaxation is crucial when it comes to keeping your stress and anxiety levels low, as well as keeping the symptoms of burnout at bay.

Finding A Hobby That Suits Your Schedule

Even though you probably feel as though your professional career does not allow room for a hobby or interest, the rewarding benefits of a hobby may surprise you. You don’t have to devote too much time towards your chosen hobby as certain hobbies are not as time-consuming as others. You could consider reconnecting with your inner artists or perhaps gardening is advantageous for you.

Finding a suitable hobby does not have to be a challenge either as you could consider merely reading through lists of popular hobbies. On the other hand, you probably already have a hobby or interest in mind that you have been pushing aside to focus on your career. While there is no arguing the importance of focusing on your career, devoting time to yourself will lift your mood and have you feeling lighter and less stressed in general.