Having a job in medical services can take a toll on your mental health. Studies have shown that healthcare workers have elevated levels of stress due to a number of factors particular to their professions such as long hours, dealing with death and unreasonable patient expectations.
As a medical professional, the only way to cope with job-related stress is to learn how to manage it. Here are some tips you can apply to your daily life:
1. Talk to a fellow colleague
Sometimes there’s no one better to understand the situation you’ve in than a co-worker who has seen or gone through similar events. Set up an emotional support group at your workplace where you can share your experiences. Don’t underestimate the power of letting everything out by talking.
2. Know your limits
When you’re close to being physically burnout from long hours and extra shifts, your emotional health can also get affected, especially through compassion fatigue. Recognising early signals such as insomnia, irritability or a continual worry can help you avoid neglecting your own needs. Talk to your boss about it—he or she can understand how demanding and draining the job can be sometimes.
3. Finding your healthy response to stress
Turning to alcohol or food for comfort when you’re stressed is very commonplace. It might provide you with a temporary reprieve, but can lead to alcohol abuse or overeating. Instead, find a healthy way to destress. Each individual has a different way of managing stress effectively. Some pursue a fulfiling hobby, some reframe negative thoughts.
4. Focus on your breathing
When you focus on your breathing, your body goes into a peaceful state, emitting noxious stimuli. That’s why people invest so much of their time on exercises such as yoga, tai chi and meditation. Make this part of your routine by committing to practice. Soon you’ll find yourself more relaxed than ever.
5. Getting to the root of the problem
When you realise that you cannot deal with certain conditions that come with the job, you might want to consider a new career path. Medical services is not an industry that will suit everybody, and it is definitely not for the faint-hearted.
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