Just in time for stress awareness month in April, award-winning psychotherapist Deborah Sandella, Ph.D., shares with Cosmetic Surgery Times tips for how physicians can reduce stress in their lives.
“A nationwide, multispecialty survey of more than 2,000 physicians conducted by Physician Wellness Services and Cejka Search in late 2011 found that almost 87% of respondents felt moderately to severely stressed and burned out on an average day,” says Dr. Sandella, author of the international bestseller Goodbye Hurt & Pain, 7 Simple Steps to Health, Love and Success (Conari Press).
Dr. Sandella, who holds a masters degree in psychiatric nursing and a Ph.D. in human communication, says the reason doctors experience stress is probably a “combination of their conscientious personalities, the exacting demands of their job and the high cost of making mistakes.”
Moreover, because physicians are used to be being in charge and patient-focused, “they are less likely to put themselves in the patient role,” Dr. Sandella says.
A British Medical Association survey found that “only one in three doctors would see their general practitioner when unwell, and one in eight doctors reported the use of alcohol or drugs to help them cope with work and ill health,” Dr. Sandella conveys.
But there is no need for physicians to despair. Here are five concrete tips to lessen stress:
NEXT: 5 Tips to Lessen Stress
1. Arrange your practice, so you have regular days off weekly.
2. Hire Smart
Find the right practice/partners/staff, so that your interactions in the office are enjoyable and not contributing to stress.
3. Rank your health and happiness as your No. 1 priority.
4. Close Your Eyes
Refresh yourself twice daily by taking 5 to 15 minutes to close your eyes. Focus on your breathing and settle into deeper relaxation.
5. Tune into your body and feelings, then turn them into words.
Empty uncomfortable words by speaking them to someone safe, writing them on the page and/or in physical exercise to lighten your mood and feel emotionally spacious.