Doctors... help yourselves! advice from a psychiatrist
Does it seem hard to face another night on call?
When was the last time you enjoyed anything?
Have you felt tired and irritable and scared to mention it at work as your colleagues may think you are not strong enough?
Do you ever feel as if you don’t have time to dedicate to your family or even to start one?
Have you become used to run your body on a perpetual state of running out of fuel?
When you find angry people, do you think is your fault and you have let them down? Particularly if they are above in the hierarchy of medicine? Are you dependant on other people’s moods?
If you can recognise yourself in any of the questions above, it’s time that you consider seriously to apply an emergency emotional kit.
It is easier than you thought. Start by having compassion for yourself. Recognise how you feel and take responsibility for your own feelings. This way you would be in a position of power to change them if you don’t like them.
You are the person you are going to be with for the rest of your life, so better get on well with yourself and don’t be too perfectionist or hard on yourself. Start talking to yourself in a nice way.
You already know the effects of chronic stress. You mention them to your patients. What about mentioning them to yourself too?
Could you learn to activate the relaxation response? Yes you can. The easiest one is to prolong your breathing out until your own body decides when to breathe in again. Allow it to happen and follow the diaphragm resetting by itself. The benefits will be noticeable after the 3rd time you do it. Simple measures make a huge difference.
For more ideas this is your prescription.
Dr Emma Allende has worked as a
and as a clinical research physician. She has always been interested in mental health and after expending years treating mental illness she decided to focus on what was available beyond medicine in order to prevent the effects stress had in our mental health and at work.
Feel free to contact her firstname.lastname@example.org