7 ways to find more work life balance as a physician
Today, overwork is the norm, but that does not mean it should be encouraged. Stress and tiredness wreak havoc on our physical and mental health when we work too hard for too long. In spite of the importance of achieving a healthy work-life balance, more than 66 percent of Americans report not having one. This is especially true for physicians, who are significantly more likely to experience burnout than the general population.
Here are seven considerations for physicians seeking to battle feelings of burnout and build a genuine work-life balance.
1. Boundaries are important
Setting boundaries is an excellent kind of self-care, however many physicians find it difficult to do so. Personal and professional life can be enhanced by establishing appropriate boundaries. The purpose of boundaries is to protect all of our needs (physical, emotional, mental, and time) so that we can be our most productive and energized selves.
Remember that the word “no” is a boundary in and of itself. Accepting additional responsibilities when one’s plate is already full leads to increased burnout. In turn, increased burnout causes resentment and a psychological toll. Sometimes, “no” is the greatest way to set a limit.
2. Working 24/7 then having little time for yourself isn’t work-life balance
After a long shift, it is usual practice to switch on the television and turn off your mind. In a recent poll, 80% of respondents indicated that they choose to relax in this manner. However, binge-watching is more likely to raise tension, worry, and sadness; it can also disrupt sleep. Try reading a new book, going outside, exercising, or spending time with family and friends. Even time spent with pets can improve cortisol levels, heart rate, and mental wellbeing.
3. Curate a Life Schedule
Once a week, gather your complete household and have everyone record their activities using various colored markers. Next, record your plans for the week outside of medicine. It could consist of having coffee with a friend or family member, going out with your spouse, or exercising – anything other than medication. Put whatever it is on the calendar.
Before making a decision when someone asks you to do something, such as work an extra shift or stay an extra hour, you must consult your life schedule. If you sense a commitment, stick to your word and say no. When you utilize a life calendar, your happiness and sense of accomplishment will increase. But before constructing one, make sure you have a clear understanding of your beliefs and what is essential to you.
4. Outsource as much as possible
Outsourcing your life does not entail delegating your whole to-do list. Instead, it merely implies that you outsource the most basic jobs to someone for a low price. Almost anything may be outsourced, including cleaning, dog walking, schedule management, and laundry. You could also use an app like TaskRabbit to have someone attach your television. Why pay for services you can perform yourself? Because you’re purchasing the most valuable of commodities: time. By avoiding tedious or unenjoyable duties, you have more time to do what you enjoy.
5. Find the right company
Sometimes, your work-life balance is determined by your workplace. It may be time to consider a new workplace if you are suffering burnout. Consider your desired and necessary work-life balance during the interview process. What are your priorities? How do you envision your daily schedule? What weekly activities require your time?
It is also crucial to ask a potential employer questions in order to better understand the workplace culture and determine whether you want to invest your time and efforts there. What are workdays like? Why is there a vacancy? What are their expectations for you in the near future? Examine the other staff, if possible. There is likely some semblance of work-life balance if they are cheerful and cordial.
6. Give time for your passions
Having an all-work no play set-up may be tiring for the soul. Give time to your passions as well! For example, dedicate your weekends to a baking class, going to the gym, or playing in a band.
There’s more to life than work!
7. Take Vacations!
Lastly, take a vacation. You have earned your days off, so why not take use of them? One-third of physicians take fewer than two weeks of vacation per year, according to research, yet this time off is vital. In addition to reducing work-related stress, it helps manage mental and physical moods, boosts time spent with loved ones, and enhances work performance.
Actively pursuing a work-life balance is difficult and will require time and commitment. Remember that it will not fix all of your problems, but it is a good starting point.