Time to triumph over the trials of burnout
By Anticipate Joy
It all started with a dream. Maybe it was to make the world a better place. Maybe it was to save lives. Maybe it was to help others. Or maybe it was just to make a nice paycheck. Whatever it was, you had a dream of becoming a doctor, and you did it. Your dream came true! But unlike fairytales, achieving our dreams doesn’t always mean “happily ever after.” In fact, sometimes our dreams can seem nothing like how we always imagined they’d be.
One of the biggest problems physicians struggle with today is burnout. With 44% of doctors experiencing this issue and 96% of medical professionals believing burnout is a problem, there clearly needs to be something done about this topic. However, despite nearly half of doctors undergoing feelings of burnout, 40% of physicians are reluctant to seek out mental health treatment, and 41% of physicians choose to isolate themselves as a method of coping. These are things that will only lead to more difficulty for doctors, both in their work and in taking care of themselves. Here are some symptoms that might indicate you’re struggling with feeling burnt out.
- Constantly feeling drained or tired
- Withdrawal from responsibilities
- Isolating from other people
- Emotional exhaustion
- Loss of motivation
- Frequent bodily aches or pains
- Procrastination on tasks
- Feelings of helplessness or defeat
- Detachment or depersonalization from your patients
- Substance abuse as a method of coping
If you resonated with some or several of the symptoms listed, you might be suffering from burnout. Here are some ways to combat burnout sensations.
- Start your day positively. Your instinct might be to immediately hop on your phone the moment you wake up, or to hit snooze until the last possible minute, making you have to rush to get ready for work. However, studies show that beginning your day in a way that reduces stress can positively impact your emotional state for the rest of the day. Try meditating, stretching, or breathing techniques.
- Set boundaries. As a physician, you likely have a love for helping others. However, you can’t help others until you help yourself. It is okay to say no to things. Additionally, make sure to try and have a healthy work-life balance, giving you a chance to unwind from the stressors of your job. Take time off for breaks or to go on vacations to give you an opportunity to recharge.
- Engage in self-care. Eat well, get enough sleep, and exercise regularly. However, also do things that make you feel good. Take time to be present and engaged with loved ones. Relax by reading a book or watching your favorite show. Spend time working on a creative hobby that’s not related to work. Do things that take care of you.
- Rediscover your joy in medicine. You chose this profession — take time to think about why you got into it and what you love about it. Journal happy moments and read over them when you’re struggling to remember your “why.” Spend time focusing on the good when the bad gets overwhelming.
- Seek out mental health support. If your feelings of burnout are too much for you to handle, get professional help. Through TAFP, Anticipate Joy offers highly discounted online counseling sessions with our licensed mental health providers. You can register today to start getting the assistance you need. The best part: since it’s all online (through video, audio, or text), you can do your sessions on your schedule in the comfort and ease of your home.
Burnout is a very real and serious issue among doctors in America. We at Anticipate Joy don’t want you to suffer anymore. Your feelings and struggles are valid and deserving of support. Doctors are our real-life superheroes, but they aren’t indestructible. It’s time to start feeling like yourself and experiencing a passion for your profession again.
Clark, M. (2020, October 14). 30+ shocking physician burnout statistics you’ll never believe. Etactics.
Casarez, C. (2017, July 25). Preventing medical burnout: the increasing dangers of physician fatigue. Continuum.
TAFP has purchased a set of sessions making online therapy available to you at a significantly reduced rate of $35 per session when you use the TAFP access. These sessions are available for active and resident members.
NOTE: We have removed the limit of four sessions so members can now book more sessions at the reduced rate.
Access the Anticipate Joy service
Scan this QR code or use this link: http://bit.ly/anticipate-joy
5 easy steps to get started
- 1. Get Access. Use the customized scan code or this link to access your organization’s mental health benefits.
- 2. Complete a brief intake. Answer a few questions about you.
- 3. Purchase session(s). Take advantage of the low TAFP member rate.
- 4. Select a therapist. Review available therapists using filters and request a therapist that best fits your needs.
- 5. Pick a time. After the therapist approves your request, select an appointment time that works for you and your therapist.