If you are looking to work in an intense medical setting, like taking on an intensivist job or a position in an emergency room, you are going to be under pressure during most of your working hours. It is important that you understand and know how to manage the stress you are under on the job and take care of your own mental health and well-being. Here are a few tips for keeping yourself mentally and physically healthy in a high-stress medical career.
#1 Identify Why You Chose Your Career
When you get bogged down by the day-to-day choices and stress of your job, it can be easy to forget that you chose the career and job that you are in and that no one made you become a doctor. It can be easy to lose site of the reasons you chose to enter the medical profession in the first place.
When you are in a good state of mind, write a letter to yourself that explains why you wanted to be a doctor. This letter can include what you get out of the job as well as what you give to the job. Perhaps helping other people is important to you, or providing care to low-income communities is what really drives you. Put this letter somewhere easy to access, and read it occasionally when you are tired of the day-to-day stresses of your job. Reading your own words can be a good reminder of why you started down this career path and choose to stay on this career path.
#2 Focus On What You Can Control
Work on focusing on what you can control. For example, if you work in an emergency room that sees a lot of gun violence, don't get stressed out of the state of gun ownership in America. Instead, focus on providing the best care that you can to the patients that you see and connecting your patients with community resources that will help them get away from gun violence in their own lives. As an emergency room or intensivist health care professional, you are going to see a lot of issues that connect to larger social problems. Don't take on the stress of these large problems. Instead, focus on providing the best care that you can in the moment. You can also support organizations that work on these issues when you are off-work as well. Remember what you can control, and try your best to let go of the rest.
#3 Take Care Of Your Personal Life
Do not neglect your personal life. Although your career and job is important, so is your social life and mental health. If you can't pick up that extra shift, speak up and say so. Don't feel obligated to be overworked.
Outside of the job, make a conscious effort to schedule time with your family and friends and participate in activities that you enjoy. Don't just sit at home all day and sleep; make sure that you are engaging yourself with things that you enjoy. Taking care of yourself will help you perform better at work, so spend your next day off at lunch with friends, or curled up reading a book, or taking that yoga class you've been interested in trying out.
When you work in a high-stress medical profession, it is important to make sure that you take care of yourself and your own mental health so you can be the best medical professional possible.Share