New Delhi: As a physician, I am acutely aware of the demanding nature of our profession. The long hours, intense workloads, attending emergency calls and emotionally challenging situations can often lead to significant stress. However, it is crucial for doctors to develop effective coping mechanisms to maintain their well-being and provide the best possible care to their patients. In this piece, I will share some strategies that doctors can employ to cope with day-to-day stress.
1. Self-Care and Healthy Lifestyle
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is paramount for managing stress. Doctors should prioritise self-care by engaging in regular exercise including Yoga and Meditation, getting sufficient sleep, and following a nutritious diet including fruits and vegetables and avoiding junk food. One should take a proper breakfast before leaving for the hospital and whenever possible stick to your timings of having lunch and dinner. Also, try and take small healthy snacks in between your meals. These habits can enhance physical and mental resilience, enabling doctors to better cope with the demands of their profession.
2. Effective Time Management
Time management skills are essential for doctors to balance their personal and professional responsibilities. Establishing realistic schedules, setting priorities, and delegating tasks when possible can help reduce stress and create a more manageable workload. Efficient time management also allows doctors to carve out time for relaxation and rejuvenation.
3. Supportive Networks
Building and maintaining a strong support system is crucial for doctors. Connecting with colleagues who understand the unique challenges of the medical field can provide a valuable outlet for discussing concerns and seeking advice. Engaging in peer support groups or professional organisations can foster a sense of camaraderie and shared experiences, helping doctors feel less isolated.
4. Emotional Resilience and Mindfulness
Practicing emotional resilience and mindfulness techniques can significantly aid in stress management. Doctors can cultivate resilience by developing a positive mindset, embracing a growth-oriented perspective, and reframing challenging situations as opportunities for growth. Additionally, incorporating mindfulness practices, such as meditation or deep breathing exercises, can help doctors stay present, reduce anxiety, and enhance overall well-being.
Always try to have good communication with the patient’s attendants explaining to them about the disease and actual serious condition of the patient with limitations of medical services, if any.
5. Engaging in Hobbies and Recreation
Finding time for hobbies and recreational activities outside of work is essential for doctors to maintain a healthy work-life balance. Engaging in activities they enjoy, such as reading, painting, playing sports, or spending time with loved ones, can provide a much-needed respite from work-related stressors and contribute to overall life satisfaction.
6. Seeking Professional Support
When stress becomes overwhelming or persists for an extended period, seeking professional support is vital. Doctors should not hesitate to consult therapists, counselors, or psychologists who specialize in stress management or work-related issues. Professional support can offer valuable insights, strategies, and coping mechanisms tailored specifically to the challenges doctors face.
Managing day-to-day stress is an ongoing challenge for doctors, given the demanding nature of their profession. By prioritizing self-care, utilizing effective time management strategies, nurturing support networks, cultivating emotional resilience, engaging in hobbies, and seeking professional support when needed, doctors can develop coping mechanisms to navigate the stresses of their daily lives. It is crucial for doctors to prioritize their well-being to ensure they can continue to provide the best possible care to their patients while maintaining their own health and happiness.
(This article has been authored by Dr. Jaideep Bansal, Director and Head of Department – Neurology, Fortis Hospital, Shalimar Bagh.)
Disclaimer: These are the personal opinions of the author.
NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ population, indigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.