As a medical doctor dealing with life and death situations combined with a financially constrained system such as the NHS in England ,stress was an invariable part of my working life.
I would like to share some tips that I have implemented successfully over the years in the work-place to combat stress.
- Take your breaks
- Too often in my earlier days, I would try to plow through work, thinking if I just saw one more patient or did one extra task this would somehow magically mean I could rest at some point . Well, this was never the case.
- What helped- taking my breaks! That I was meant to have but as doctors the majority of us never really take.
- I came back much more productive and with a renewed vigour to work
- Detach during your breaks
- I find sometimes getting away from people during my breaks enabled me to think better.
- This sometimes means finding a quiet area and recharging now this is me. Being an introverted person by nature, I need space to recharge. However if you are someone who thrives of being around others for this-then do that instead.
- Surround yourself with positivity
- Sometimes this means ,just taking yourself away from a situation or just politely agreeing to disagree
- I personally found no gain for me engaging in ” moaning parties” where everyone just talked about how tough it was and felt sorry for themselves.
- If there isn’t anyone positive around I would recommend on your breaks catching up with a you tube video of someone inspirational and positive to get you back on track
- Remind yourself that whatever happens you will be fine
- I constantly said to myself ” everything fine, I am fine”. Your day is going amazingly.
- The more I said these things , the more often my day would go well.
- Interestingly there are a group of doctors who collectively call themselves “shit magnets”- everything that can go wrong goes wrong for them.
- I believe it’s because these individuals are constantly thinking about how things will go wrong will happen and this then becomes their reality
- Stay nourished and hydrated
- There’s a common saying in the NHS that the healthcare staff probably have worse kidney function than the patients due to lack of hydration during busy shifts
- Your health is paramount. No institution or boss should ever push you into thinking otherwise
- Eating healthy food and drinking plenty of water will keep your blood sugar levels stable and your organs functioning optimally
- Learn to say NO
- Too often in the way my career was set-up it was all about doing more courses or getting additional qualifications to rise further
- I early on prioritized that my career was important but my health was important as well.
- I decided to do a fellowship in an area of medicine I was interested in
- I decided to say no to an extra MSC qualification in a subject that could further my career but ultimately I didn’t care about
- Instead I choose to use this extra time in cycling, hiking and lifting weights
- Make a list of jobs
- I make lists all the time house tasks, work tasks, working out lists
- I find this focuses my brain to accomplish these tasks during the day
- The trick is not to put too much on the list
- When the list is done ,you should look at it as a challenge but not as an additional stress!
- Keep your outside interests alive
- Too often work can become this all-encompassing beast that makes us put what we are interested in on the side lines.
- I found that over compromising my work over my outside life always made me miserable
- How I tried to balance it out was to ensure that I always worked out this is extremely dear to my heart and then make sure that I caught up with my friends and made it to the cinema at-least twice a month as I love movies.
- Tell your significant other how much you care about them/ keep the family close
- I am not going to lie, being a doctor almost rocked my relationship with my wife on many occasions.
- The hours, the moodiness after working long shifts takes its toll
- How I combat this and still work on combatting this is to keep this as a priority in my life
- Never give up on your family they are the most important people in your life and you should always show them importance no matter how hard it gets
- Keep your body healthy
- The mind is housed in the body.
- The mind only works optimally when the body is functioning well.
- Alcohol, sugar, over-caffeination, nicotine all may work as short-term fixes but long-term provide no useful benefit
- Cut these poisons out any which way you can and eat healthy and stay fit through exercise.
So there you have it. A few ways in which I have de-stressed at work.
Thanks for stopping by