As a physician, you hold one of the most stressful positions on the planet. Constantly running around, dealing with angry patients, wondering what went wrong when a patient dies, providing condolences when such tragedy strikes, and always having to provide answers to all questions. Your compassion for others is a true dedication, but what happens when you’re the one who needs to cope with stress?
According to Dr. Michael Anderson’s blog, The Junior Doctor, “as individuals, people who apply to medical school are very comfortable and happy with health and healthy people…and are comfortable in environments where people are healthy. As a doctor..,you spend the majority of your time in an environment that is the direct opposite to the one in which you feel most comfortable.” Instinctively, when people are placed into uncomfortable environments it automatically causes stress. If that stress isn’t dealt with properly, it could lead to severe depression or even suicide.
According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) roughly 300 to 400 physicians die by suicide in the United States each year. Among risk factors, depression is leading and not taking the time to cope with the high stress situations of your daily routine may contribute greatly to developing depression.
What do you love?
Do you enjoy writing? Then start doing it at least 30 minutes a day. Presently, nearly 1 in 8 doctors obtain their own blog. If writing intrigues you, join the majority and get started today. Whether you want to write about fictional ideals or tell the world about what happened in the facility today—with a blog, the choice is yours. Writing is the perfect outlet for stress and hey, you might even get some followers!
Maybe cooking is your forte? Look up tasty, quick, and easy recipes and whip up something you’ll love! For some quick and healthy recipe ideas check our previous blog post, titled Healthy Recipes for Busy Physicians.
Enjoy your free time with friends and family. Spending time with those you love and feel comfortable with is a major stress reliever. You can even let them be your outlet and talk to them about anything at work that may be stressing you out. Family and friends are always there for you, no matter what and it’s important to not shut them out.
Exercise. One of the most effective ways to relieve stress and get rid of those bad vibes is to exercise. It’ll naturally release endorphins and leave you feeling renewed and overall happier. Exercise will always boost your energy, so maybe plan a nice workout before your long shift in the hospital starts!
Utilize your appreciation for the outdoors. If you enjoy nature take up a gardening hobby. I know what you’re thinking, “but I travel and am not usually at a permanent home to maintain my garden.” That’s okay; there are plenty of indoor plants that are known to help relieve stress. You can place them all around your house and also in your work environment. Here are a few examples to get you started!
If you aren’t interested in gardening but still enjoy the outdoors, take up hiking. It’ll allow you to see beautiful views, and explore the locations your working in. Hiking will also release some endorphins to help boost your energy and mood!
If you have an athletic background, or just need an effective way to release aggression you may be holding in, sports will be very beneficial. Look for intramural teams in your location area, affiliated with a nearby gym or get a team together with your coworkers.
Start expressing your feelings rather than holding them in—try painting. Anything creative really will help you to better relieve your worries and negative feelings. From painting to listening to music, forms of art are a great therapy for those feeling a little less than their usual.
Everyone needs an outlet once in a while, and in order to keep from becoming overwhelmed it’s important to find something that relieves all tensions built up during your busy 17 hour days. Getting yourself interested in hobbies will put your mind at ease and help you to start feeling better.