Managing your wellbeing is important for any professional, but especially General Practitioners.
That has never been more the case than in the wake of the Covid pandemic which has tested the mental resolve of everyone.
And our overworked medical professionals have been on the front line of it all.
The long hard slog of lockdowns and other Covid rules as well as protecting our own health has taken its toll on many personal relationships and permeated into mental stress worldwide.
The fallout can impact our own performance and the results we deliver for our patients.
Incredibly, as many as 50% of doctors have reported some degree of burnout.
But there are some steps you can put in place to safeguard your wellbeing.
What doctors can do to support wellbeing
Recognise the signs and slow down – No-one knows you better than you. And you’re a doctor so it’s time to self-diagnose and start helping yourself. If you are constantly feeling exhausted, lacking motivation or feeling like you are unable to cope, you need to take action. As you know, physical signs such as headaches, nausea or upset stomachs are also an indication you are going to crash.
Take a break – Schedule a regular break in your day to put your feet up and enjoy the silence. Turn your phone off and block calls from reception to take that quick nap. Maybe go for a walk and get some fresh air or try something else that can help you unwind.
Talk with confidantes – We all need someone to talk to when things are getting on top of us, be it a partner, a peer or trusted friends. A problem shared is a problem halved.
Delegate – Most doctors are frustrated by the paperwork that gets in the way of what they enjoy doing with some reporting up to two lost hours per day on the computer. Think about whether you can delegate some of these tasks to others in the office to make your work day more purposeful and fulfilling.
Be flexible – More and more patients are seeking appointments outside of regular hours but this can work to your advantage. Working a little longer on one or many days will free up time elsewhere in the week to wind down. This may involve virtual visits which can be done from home.
Keep learning and improving – Surprisingly, one of the biggest causes of burnout is boredom but it doesn’t have to be that way. Get out of the daily routine by upskilling and working on professional development to advance your career.
Help at home – The thought of coming home to a list of chores after a long day at work can be unbearable. Try to streamline jobs to make the home run more smoothly with regular schedules of what needs to be done. It may be doing the ironing at a particular time each week or setting the dishwasher off before bed every night. If you and your partner are still struggling to keep the house in shape, consider paying for a regular professional cleaner.
Prioritise play – Fun … remember that?! As kids, our lives used to revolve around fun but as responsibilities increase most people forget to pursue joy in their lives. Carving out time each week to do the things that make you happy, and spend time with the people you love, is essential … and should be treated as important, if not more so, than the many other items on your to-do list. Prioritise play and watch your wellbeing improve.
Want to join a practice that supports your wellbeing?
The wellbeing of our doctors and indeed all of our staff is a huge priority at AHA.
That’s why we have an elite team on hand to help and support our General Practitioners, whatever they need.
We are located in the heart of Adelaide’s southern beaches at Seaford where you can reduce mental fatigue by enjoying the beautiful coast lifestyle.
We offer flexible hours so the work-life balance you crave is yours for the taking, while our purpose built state-of-the-art facilities will make coming to work a joy.
If this sounds attractive to you, find out more here and get in touch for a no obligation discussion!