Caring for Your Mental Health
05 July 2021
Whilst Doctors are busy caring for others, they may end up neglecting their own wellbeing…
As no doubt you are aware, a little self-care can go a long way …
This is just a reminder for all our Doctors out there, it’s important to be kind to yourself and make self-care a priority - When you take good care of yourself, you’re likely to see an improvement in many aspects of your life, including your physical health and relationships.
Below are a few tips to remind you to look after yourself.
Ways to avoid low mood and potential burnout
Start your day by relaxing - Instead of leaping out of bed and frantically rushing around, spend a few minutes meditating, doing gentle stretches, or practicing breathing techniques or engaging in mindfulness.
Incorporate healthy eating, exercise and sleeping habits - Eating well, drinking plenty of water throughout the day, regular exercise and plenty of sleep will give you the energy to face a challenging day. Regular exercise can help boost your mood, reduce stress and anxiety, and improve your overall health.
Set personal boundaries - Don’t overextend yourself - Learn how to say ‘no’ to certain things.
Take a break from technology - Set aside a few minutes a day where you completely disconnect from your laptop, mobile and e-mail.
Creativity - Start a hobby that has nothing to do with work. Creativity can be a powerful ally against burnout.
Diversify your life outside the hospital/practice - If burnout is creeping up on you and work has started to drain your energy, it’s important to identify activities that replenish your energy and focus on those activities on your days/hours off. Go somewhere nice, recharge and gain perspective on your priorities. Perhaps a camping trip is needed or maybe just a countryside stroll? Whatever it is, do something fun, do something that you enjoy.
Connect – Make time for family and friends. Build relationships with colleagues and neighbours, take up new hobbies and meet new people.
Keep learning – Try something new and embrace new experiences. Learning new skills can boost your confidence and create an escape from stress and anxiety.
Share your concerns with fellow doctors - Recognise that you are not alone and that there is help available. Talking to your practice manager to see what changes could be made to make your work-life balance better can reduce stress at work.
These might sound obvious, but often busy doctors ignore their most basic needs, instead, caring for others and their responsibilities far more than they take care of themselves.
If you are a doctor or a medical student and want to talk to someone in confidence - call BMA’s wellbeing support services on 0330 123 1245. You don't have to be a member of the BMA to use these services, lines are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The peer support service runs alongside counselling and gives doctors and medical students in distress or difficulty the choice of speaking in confidence to another doctor.