Being a healthcare provider can be both a challenging and rewarding experience. Looking after people and caring for their lives can be quite a satisfying thing. However, it is equally important that healthcare providers look after themselves too.
It can be quite common for junior doctors to lack in self-care during the period of a busy shift. As new doctors, they can experience strenuous hours and pressured days, so it’s easy for self-care to slip by.
Here are some of the most important self-care tips that junior doctors can practice:
Comfortable Shoes – As much as this might not sound important, but wearing comfortable shoes is quite essential. Doctors have one of the most demanding jobs, where they may tend to walk a lot and so it’s important to find the correct footwear and be prepared for running around, if needed and, protecting the feet from getting sore and blisters.
Food – It can be quite easy for junior doctors to forget to eat at all. There can be times when they are busy at a long demanding rotation, so it’s not a surprise that food can get skipped. Therefore, it is quite important to be mindful about nourishing the body at regular intervals. It’s always handy to carry snacks to workplace and take out time for food breaks, which will eventually be helpful in keeping the body replenished.
Stretching – Another important self-care habit is to regularly stretch during the day. For doctors, it is very likely that they’ll have to sit for long hours, depending upon the nature of shift. So, getting up, moving and stretching the body is vital. It can help eliminating chances of potential joint and back pain and also give a quick energy boost.
Getting fresh air – Being a doctor also means staying inside the ward/clinic for prolonged hours, which can cause a variety of mental health troubles such as anxiety and stress – considering the nature of job – therefore it is helpful to go out and get fresh air at different intervals.
Adopting a switching off routine – As a new doctor, it can be a bit challenging at times to switch off work side of things completely. But, it is important to conclude the shift and handover the tasks before heading home. This will ensure that you are able to give time to other personal tasks with a peace of mind, knowing that work side of things have been handled. This ‘switching off’ is also important because doctors can experience distress from various events of the day, and so this will allow them enough time to relieve themselves, to regain their energy and return to work with a fresh state of mind.
Often junior doctors can compromise their personal well-being. They can be overly involved and invested in their work and their patients, which is the most satisfying thing about their jobs. However, in order to be able to care of their patients, it’s crucial that they are also able to look after themselves in order to function properly.
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Mahnoor Nadeem is a student of Masters in Clinical and Health Psychology in Lithuania and a Trainee Psychologist at Willingness. She enjoys working with children and adolescents and also exploring topics such as health psychology, family therapy and sexual health.
NHS Practitioner Health. (2021). Mental health tips for new doctors. Retrieved from: https://www.practitionerhealth.nhs.uk/mental-health-tips-for-new-doctors
Triple Medical Recruitment. (2021). 3 Essential Self-Care Tips for Doctors. Retrieved from: https://www.triple0.com/3-essential-self-care-tips-for-doctors/