Are you a healthcare worker feeling increased frustration, exhaustion, and stress? If so, you may be experiencing burnout in healthcare. This is not a new problem, but it’s certainly getting increasingly problematic during the pandemic. There are many resources out there to help, and fortunately, there are some things you can do regularly to feel better!
In healthcare, we tend to work a lot of shifts with long hours. This increases stress and might make you feel like what you’re doing doesn’t even matter. Remember that any amount of work you do helps your patients and clients – and you do make a difference. Learn more about how you can help yourself get through burnout in healthcare.
Burnout in Healthcare: Tips on How to Prevent Burnout
Prepare for Shift Work
Several studies have shown that longer shifts lead to increased stress and burnout. I’m sure you could have guessed that! If you’re interested in learning more, here is some of the research.
Try to prepare yourself mentally and physically for 12-hour or longer shifts. There are a few things that you can do to help survive swing shifts. Allowing your mind and body to be prepared will definitely help reduce the stress of the day. Make sure you pack a lunch, get everything done at home, and plan ahead so that the things outside of work aren’t contributing to increased stress.
Digital Detox – Burnout in Healthcare
What do you typically do on your breaks or at home? I know I’m personally guilty of surfing YouTube, Facebook, TikTok, or the news on my phone – a little too much. Try a digital detox.
Since so much of our time at work and home is spent on electronic devices – this is contributing to our mental. Try to unplug from your phone or computer, and if this isn’t possible – just try to reduce screentime. You’d be surprised about how big of an effect this will have on your well-being. You will probably sleep better, be in a good mood often, and in general, have improved mental health.
Since we typically work indoors in the healthcare field, we could certainly use more time outside. Where do you spend most of your time when you aren’t working?
It’s tough to find the extra time to add something else to our schedule, but you will see a big difference. Try going outside on your breaks or make time to do so when you’re off. You will see big improvements in mental health, and you could even try something a little unusual – forest bathing. Take a relaxing, mindful walk in the woods, and you will reap the benefits. Forest Bathing has been shown to have great effects on both mental and physical health.
Of course, I think we all know that exercise has great health benefits. Workout routines are a great way to get in shape, reduce your chance of illness, and improve your mental health. If you need help starting a routine, check out this article.
Since burnout in healthcare is characterized partially by feelings of exhaustion, exercising might sound like the last thing you want to do. Whether you are physically or mentally exhausted, a workout can help. For example, if you are tired physically, then an exercise routine will make you stronger, which will ultimately lead to better stamina and a lesser chance of feeling tired! It certainly doesn’t hurt to try.
Enjoy Your Break – Burnout in Healthcare
I know a lot of healthcare workers that talk about work or complain about issues they’re having during breaks. Try to make this your time to relax and focus on other things besides work. This might be hard to get used to, but it will help you get over burnout.
If you’re eating lunch, try a mindfulness technique where you’re only focusing on your food. Pay attention to the texture, taste, and smell. Take your time while eating and appreciate the time that you have away from work (even if it’s short)! Focusing on this will help to clear your mind and lessen anxiety.
Make Time for Family/Friends
Do you tend to work so many hours that you have little time for your friends and family? It’s not uncommon to work 60 or more hours a week, so this leaves little time for other activities. If you are someone who enjoys the company of others, try to make time for them.
Even if you’re just speaking to a friend on the way home from your – you will see big improvements on burnout in healthcare. Sometimes we leave work so stressed and tired, we just want to avoid everyone and go to sleep. Fight these urges and see/talk to your loved ones. You will be glad that you did.
Remember You’re Not Alone – Burnout in Healthcare
Burnout in healthcare workers is very common. You can learn more about the statistics in our other article here. This isn’t good, but it means that you’re not alone! In fact, it’s more likely for healthcare workers to experience burnout than not.
It’s nice to know that you aren’t crazy for feeling the way that you do. Actually, it’s pretty normal. You can use this fact to talk to your co-workers or other people in healthcare about the issues you’re facing. Share stories, offer suggestions, or just vent if you need to. Here are some tips for stress to get you started.
Talk to Someone
If talking to your healthcare buddies isn’t enough, then it’s okay to seek professional help. I know there’s a little bit of a stigma around seeing a therapist/psychiatrist as a healthcare worker, but it can make a world of difference.
You could even find more tools that work specifically for you. The pros know a lot about burnout in healthcare, and they’re ready to help!
You have the power to beat burnout in healthcare! Try these tips to help reduce it’s effects and improve your overall well-being. Remember that you chose this profession to help people, and you’re doing a great job! Hopefully this article will help you continue and be happier. Good Luck!