Feb 3, 2022
Health care workers are being pulled left and right to help care for their patients during the pandemic. While some may like the extra hours on their pay stub, many workers are having second thoughts about their careers. Long hours, poor working conditions, dealing with COVID-19 and shortage of health care professionals have caused many to experience burnout.
According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, nearly half of the 15,000 Generation X physicians that were surveyed felt burned out, compared to 39% of baby boomers and 38% of millennials. These factors are also pushing nurses out the door as half of them considered leaving the profession due to being overworked.
Symptoms of burnout may include feelings of depleted energy or exhaustion because of continual stress. Symptoms of stress can include headaches, muscle aches, upset stomach, fatigue and anxiety to name a few. To help fight off burnout, try these six tips we have provided below.
Engage in regular exercise.
Physical exercise has been proven to decrease stress and improve emotional well-being. Work out with a friend or co-worker so you can reap the benefits while having fun. Whether it’s yoga, lifting weights or just walking, exercise can play a big role in stress management.
Spend time with family and friends.
Dealing with the pandemic left many health care workers on the fence about seeing family and friends because of the desire to protect them from COVID-19. These decisions aided in burnout and pushed health care workers to withdraw from others. If you don’t feel comfortable being with family and friends in person, connect with them virtually to help improve your mood and have that social interaction you desire away from work.
Identify the things you can and can’t control at work.
It’s important to realize what you can and can’t control at work. You can control your attitude, effort and patient care, while you’re unable to control coworkers’ moods, patients’ behaviors and lack of help. If you focus too much on items you can’t control, those thoughts can increase your feelings of helplessness and your stress levels. Save your time and energy for areas you can control.
Unplug from work.
It’s easy to tell yourself to leave work at work, but to actually do it is another story. While it may be part of your routine to check email and chart away from the office, it’s good to set aside time for yourself. Leave your phone on the counter to help fight the urge to check your email, and leave other work items in your office if you’re able to. This will allow you to be present at home and escape the pressures of work.
Seek out therapy.
Burnout can significantly affect quality of life and job performance. When you start to notice symptoms, such as having trouble with daily functions, coping with alcohol or drugs or constant stress, don’t hesitate to reach out. If you want a “soft” introduction into therapy, find a mental health app. If you prefer to speak to someone, you can visit a therapist in person or virtually, or you may also enjoy gaining support in a group setting.
Insufficient sleep is strongly related to cognitive functioning. Poor sleep habits can cause reduction in alertness and vigilance, so it’s important to get the recommended eight hours of sleep.Back to Main page
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