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Striking a Balanced Lifestyle as a Career Physician

Some people out there will tell you that the best way to find time for yourself is to make time for yourself — it doesn’t matter how busy your schedule might be. While such a tactic might work for most careers, it does not always work out for physicians. When the lives of other people are on the line, it can feel almost overwhelming to try to make time for yourself.

Such is the reason why striking a balanced lifestyle as a career physician is considered extremely challenging. It does not help that most physicians are stuck in a so-called flexible schedule, where things can quickly change depending on the circumstances. That said, challenging does not mean impossible. Here are some potential ways to strike a balanced lifestyle as a physician.

Looking into alternatives that offer a better schedule

It might seem silly to look into other career alternatives as a physician, but there are quite a few viable ones out there. One of the most significant would be locum tenens, where the physician is tasked with filling in a role in a medical facility of their choice. Locum tenens companies can provide assignments that can last weeks to months to even years, and the choice of location is up to you.

The advantage locum tenens provides is you no longer have to worry about an on-call schedule. Your schedule will be closer to that of other careers, which means you can focus on maintaining a healthier lifestyle.

Get some time to take care of mental, cognitive, and physical wellbeing

Personal time for a physician is extremely important to have a work-life balance. It will not help if you run out of energy, compassion, mental clearness, and persistence.  Whenever you are away from the office or patients, do things to stay healthy. Create a schedule and stick to them without any fail. Some possible ways that you can follow –

  • Fit yourself in a workout session
  • Stop relying on fast or junk foods and get a nutritious diet
  • Share your meal with the family
  • Take brisk walk
  • Do not compromise with the sleep
  • Plan for a date with your partner
  • Read a book not related to the work
  • Play with the kids

Do whatever you want to do, after it is your personal life. Make sure that everything you do should intend to keep you healthy. You can only give the best care to your parents when you do the same to yourself.

Add hours for telemedicine appointments

Nowadays, even people want to get consultation through telemedicine. No one wants to bring work home along with. But sometimes, consulting patients from home or from other convenient locations can save hours at the office.

This, in turn, can help maintain a perfect work-life balance. The greater side is you will be able to see many patients in a short span of time. You can utilize those extra hours for other activities for yourself and also with the family.

Delegate tasks or outsource when you can do so

There are certain areas of the work like the administrative part, where you can have others at work. You can ask the assistant to take care of the paper works. If you have the opportunity, do not miss to make the best use of the same. It could be anyone at work, or it can be finding someone to maintain the perfect balance, even at home. Don’t feel that only you have to take care of all the stuff because other capable people are also there.

Live in the present, irrespective of where you are

When you are at home, it is important not to focus on issues or discussions with patients. Similarly, while on work, do not bother about the struggles at home. It seems quite simple and effective too. But in case you find it difficult to manage, start looking for meditation and other strategies to boost concentration. Staying at present ensure that you do not miss anything important as your mind was somewhere else.

Getting enough exercise

Some physicians will scoff at the idea of getting exercise, as the job can often feel like all the exercise they need. However, it is not necessarily about physical exertion but tackling the right muscles and getting the circulation going. It does not have to take hours of hard work, either!

Something as simple as shadow boxing for 30 minutes a day can get the blood flowing and make it easier to tackle the day’s responsibilities. Some physicians even try to get their exercise in by biking to work. A bit of creativity with exercise can go a long way!

Celebrate Every Day

Take some moments to consider about all the incredible things that you have so far in life. No matter how small a task you complete in the day, always get heads up for the same. You can consider it a victory where you complete all the works for the day and better manage your priorities. Everyone has a different commitment towards life, and if we manage to do even half of them, we must celebrate.

No, there is no need to say ‘yes to everything and to fulfill the expectations of others all the time. Rather you can utilize the time to focus on what you have and how to be successful with it. If you create a habit, you will certainly find life satisfaction and have a better work-life balance.

Take breaks at regular interval of time

Working on back-to-back appointments or dealing with the immense pressure of the patients might be a scenario or necessary at times. Shifting from patient to patient along with the paperwork, follow up and another aspect seems very exhausting.

The best way to deal with it is to get regular breaks in between. This should be there when it seems that you are getting slow. Having enough 15 minutes off can help a lot to decompress and stress and get back to the work once again.

Learning to do the things you want to do

The trouble with being a physician is that when they actually do have free time, most individuals just want to lie in bed all day. When the only thing you do with your free time is sitting idly by, it can be easy to feel like all you do is work. Plan out a fun session for yourself where you play games or watch your favorite shows.

Even if your schedule only allows a little bit of time outside of sleep, why not make the most of it? It certainly helps to write things down, as a schedule focused entirely on pleasure rather than a business.

The long and short of it is that being a physician can be a lot of hard work. That said, you have needs and desires much like everyone else, and it’s crucial to strike a balance. Perhaps the locum tenens route might be the best way to make your mark without succumbing to stress.

All these tips will help to reduce stress, burn out and most importantly, maintain a work-life balance. At times, it seems to be very difficult after working as a physician. But adapting to small changes can turn things up and can long in life.

About Tom Clark

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