Curing the Bad News Blues

With the multiple tragedies that have rocked the world, it’s no wonder that many are left dealing with psychological and mental stress. This constant stress and despair can have a lasting impact on your mental and physical health. As a physician, many know first-hand just how tough it can be to deal with bad news on the daily. A recent CNN article detailed ways for citizens to cope with surrounding tragedies, but how can a physician decompress after a stressful and sometimes grief-stricken day.

Leave it at the Office

            Although it’s easier said than done, separating work life from home life is a crucial part of dealing with work-related stress. Remember that once you step out of that office, you’re no longer in control of what’s going on in there. You owe it to not only yourself, but also your family as well, to be present at home. Many will allow work to consume them, ultimately leading to other issues at home.

It’s okay to talk about an especially tough day, because it’s important to express how it affects you. Talking with a loved one can ease the burden and allow your family to understand the stresses of the job.

Lay off the Communication Devices

            It’s unrealistic to ask you to destroy your cell phone and delete your emails, but it also shouldn’t become another member of the family. Limiting the time spent responding to calls or emails can limit stress. Each email or phone call allows work life to creep into other areas of your life, and that’s when problems can arise.

You need time to decompress both mentally and physically, but if you constantly respond to phone calls and emails dealing with work, your mind and body have to time to relax. Research shows that when there’s a clash of demands from our different responsibilities, problems spread as rapidly as the common cold.

3724365 - doctor looking tired and frustrated in hospital room

Find a Hobby 

            Whether it’s golfing, woodworking, playing PokemonGO (ask the kids), it’s important to find something completely unrelated to the medical field to take your mind off of the stresses of the job. A hobby cannot only be satisfying aesthetically, but it can help reduce stress. It’s a known fact that those in the medical field have a higher risk of hypertension.

Choose a hobby that you and your family can both partake in. Spending time with your family while hiking or playing a sport can keep those work worries away.

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask For Help 

            The medical field is one of the most stressful careers out there; so don’t be ashamed if you yourself need some help leaving your stress at the workplace. There are a variety of support groups and therapists that specialize in work-related stress. Talking to family members can help bridge that gap when seeking professional help. You spend your entire workday helping others, so it’s time to let others help you.

Author: Troy Diffenderfer

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