How to manage stress in the workplace

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As a medical doctor dealing with life and death situations combined with a financially constrained system such as the NHS in England ,stress was an invariable part of my working life.

I would like to share some tips that I have implemented successfully over the years in the work-place to combat stress.

  1. Take your breaks
    • Too often in my earlier days, I would try to plow through work, thinking if I just saw one more patient or did one extra task this would somehow magically mean I could rest at some point . Well, this was never the case.
    • What helped- taking my breaks! That I was meant to have but as doctors the majority of us never really take.
    • I came back much more productive and with a renewed vigour to work
  2. Detach during your breaks
    • I find sometimes getting away from people during my breaks enabled me to think better.
    • This sometimes means finding a quiet area and recharging now this is me.  Being an introverted person by nature, I need space to recharge. However if you are someone who thrives of being around others for this-then do that instead.
  3. Surround yourself with positivity
    • Sometimes this means ,just taking yourself away from a situation or just politely agreeing to disagree
    • I personally found no gain for me engaging in ” moaning parties” where everyone just talked about how tough it was and felt sorry for themselves.
    • If there isn’t anyone positive around I would recommend on your breaks catching up with a you tube video of someone inspirational and positive to get you back on track
  4. Remind yourself that whatever happens you will be fine
    • I constantly said to myself ” everything fine, I am fine”. Your day is going amazingly.
    • The more I said these things , the more often my day would go well.
    • Interestingly there are a group of doctors who collectively call themselves “shit magnets”- everything that can go wrong goes wrong for them.
    • I believe it’s because these individuals are constantly thinking about how things will go wrong will happen and this then becomes their reality
  5. Stay nourished and hydrated
    • There’s a common saying in the NHS that the healthcare staff probably have worse kidney function than the patients due to lack of hydration during busy shifts
    • Your health is paramount. No institution or boss should ever push you into thinking otherwise
    • Eating healthy food and drinking plenty of water will keep your blood sugar levels stable and your organs functioning optimally
  6. Learn to say NO
    • Too often in the way my career was set-up it was all about doing more courses or getting additional qualifications to rise further
    • I early on prioritized that my career was important but my health was important as well.
    • I decided to do a fellowship in an area of medicine I was interested in
    • I decided to say no to an extra MSC qualification in a subject that could further my career but ultimately I didn’t care about
    • Instead I choose to use this extra time in cycling, hiking and lifting weights
  7. Make a list of jobs
    • I make lists all the time house tasks, work tasks, working out lists
    • I find this focuses my brain to accomplish these tasks during the day
    • The trick is not to put too much on the list
    • When the list is done ,you should look at it as a challenge but not as an additional stress!
  8. Keep your outside interests alive
    • Too often work can become this all-encompassing beast that makes us put what we are interested in on the side lines.
    • I found that over compromising my work over my outside life always made me miserable
    • How I tried to balance it out was to ensure that I always worked out this is extremely dear to my heart and then make sure that I caught up with my friends and made it to the cinema at-least twice a month as I love movies.
  9. Tell your significant other how much you care about them/ keep the family close
    • I am not going to lie, being a doctor almost rocked my relationship with my wife on many occasions.
    • The hours, the moodiness after working long shifts takes its toll
    • How I combat this and still work on combatting this is to keep this as a priority in my life
    • Never give up on your family they are the most important people in your life and you should always show them importance no matter how hard it gets
  10. Keep your body healthy
    • The mind is housed in the body.
    • The mind only works optimally when the body is functioning well.
    • Alcohol, sugar, over-caffeination, nicotine all may work as short-term fixes but long-term provide no useful benefit
    • Cut these poisons out any which way you can and eat healthy and stay fit through exercise.

So there you have it. A few ways in which I have de-stressed at work.

Thanks for stopping by

Phil

 

 

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