Being a physician is a very demanding and stressful job. The days can be excruciatingly long, patient care can be very challenging, and levels of stress and cases of burnout are much higher than many other professional careers. Finding ways to relax and unwind are important, but not all doctors are able to switch off from their duty of care. Many of the causes of stress can be changed. However, for those that can’t it’s vital you learn how to relieve the stress, for your own and your patients’ wellbeing.
Cut Out the Caffeine
Very Well Mind provides details into how caffeine is a strong stimulant that generates a stress reaction in the body. It may be an excellent pick you up and fuel for the day but if you remove it from your system, you’ll be amazed at how different you feel. It won’t happen overnight, but you should notice a difference in three weeks. You’ll be sleeping better, feel more relaxed, less jittery, and nervous. It might seem counterintuitive, as caffeine is a stimulant, but you’ll have more energy, fewer muscle aches, and less heartburn.
Take Regular Exercise
Aerobic exercise is a great way of draining off stress energy. Stress is your body’s reaction to various factors, such as pressure at work, financial worries, relationship problems, or problems with a sick child. It is a fight-or-flight response which is really no longer necessary. You don’t have to fight off wild animals or warring tribesmen anymore. However, you need to find a way of releasing the energy and exercise is perfect for keeping stress under control.
Relax or Meditate
Many people practice relaxation techniques as a way of unwinding or de-stressing. With a little bit of practice, it’s possible to put your body into a state of deep relaxation. Your pulse and breathing slows, your muscles relax, and your blood pressure falls. There are many methods to choose from including meditation, as suggested by NY Times or self-hypnosis. However, petting the family cat, sitting by a river, listening to a recording of waves crashing on the shore, all bring similar benefits.
Take Time Out
Achieving a good work/life balance isn’t easy, particularly when your job involves caring for other people. We have an endless number of timesaving gadgets but seem to be busier than ever before. For physicians, in particular, leisure time is rather elusive, which may account for the high levels of stress. Take time out of your day, every day, and do something you enjoy. Read a book, watch a movie, play poker at Unibet, paint a picture, or cook your partner something for dinner. Have time for you, and spend it however you like. If you fail to look after your own self-care, it will prove near impossible to help others.
Laughter Relieves Tension
Laughter is a great way of relieving tension, but it’s an individual thing. Try to find the time to watch your favorite comedian or sign up and follow their social media post to see what amusing things they have to say.
Stress management is an important skill for physicians to learn and it will help you to model them for your patients. Stress is a worldwide epidemic at the moment, and we all need ways to relieve it.