Top 10: How to Relieve Stress for Medical Jobs
November 5, 2015
Medical Professionals who work shifts know all too well that stress is the name of the game.
It’s hard to eat regularly, take breaks, or do much of anything during an action-packed 12-hour day; patients need you all the time, sometimes hospitals are short staffed, and you rarely get more than five minutes alone to sit down and breathe.
In addition, it feels as if nothing you do to relieve stress is working. It feels like patients need more today than they do any other day, and they are all demanding extra care at the same time.
This is completely natural, and everyone experiences it in the hospital and healthcare industry. When stress builds up over time, another concern for hospital and healthcare professionals is that stress build-up eventually leads to burn out over time.
With both hospital and healthcare employers seeking a method that will help eliminate employee stress and reduce turnover ratio associated with feeling burned out – everyone can benefit from these tips on how to relieve stress for medical jobs.
Saying the job or medical jobs are stressful is an understatement. We are going to reveal how to relieve stress while on the job, so that you can enjoy your job a little bit more – and not have to worry about the stress that builds up over time on a normal shift.
In addition, these tips will help you relieve stress outside the job, so that you don’t go into work each day with stress from the previous day, week, or month.
Eliminating your sources of stress through these useful tips will ensure that you provide the most efficient and effective care for the patients under your supervision.
How to Relieve Stress:
Exercise is one of the most efficient and positive ways to relieve stress, regardless of occupation or industry you are working in. The problem is that it’s not always easy to find time to exercise, especially when working.
Exercising takes time, and it’s important to set out some time in your daily routine to ensure that you spend some quality time focusing on improving your lifestyle and stress levels through a little bit of exercise.
All it takes is roughly fifteen to twenty minutes each day for a short workout, or half an hour to an hour to get a solid workout in.
If you haven’t worked out in a while, it’s important to remember that it’s a lifestyle change and it will take some time to build up into a normal routine.
This means that if you’re unsure of how you can fit it into your hectic and busy schedule and are worried that it is just one more thing to add to your already stressful life – then start out by only working out one day a week.
Look at your schedule, and commit to one day that you can dedicate 15 to 30 minutes to workout. And then, hold yourself accountable when that day comes around. One way of holding yourself accountable each week is to see if there are any classes you might be interested in.
Classes in a gym are a great way for you to find like-minded individuals who are committed to improving their lifestyle. If you’re anxious about going to the gym alone, classes will also help reduce some of that stress and anxiety by making sure you surround yourself with others who are doing the same thing.
As you get more comfortable and consistently attend the gym at least once a week, then you can start adding more days that you go to the gym, and stretching out the amount of time you spend at the gym.
Over time, try to build up the time you spend at the gym. Depending on the workout, the amount of time you spend at the gym or in your own personal workout can vary. Whether your workout is intense or easy – it’s important to remember that any workout helps you to relieve stress.
Even though you might not be able to figure out where you can add a workout into your routine – it’s all about making time for it. It’s one of the best things you can do to alleviate stress.
Even if it’s for 5 minutes, if you do push ups, take a jog, or practice some yoga, the movement and increase in heart rate can take your mind off of the tasks of the day and help level you out.
Exercising is a great time to focus on nothing besides your breathing and the task at hand. Exercise has been proven as one of the best ways to decrease stress.
Exercising is a great way for you to find a medium to relieve stress, but it also has a bunch of other benefits as well that include not getting sick and fighting off diseases better.
When you strengthen your body and mind through exercise, your body can better fight off disease as well.
Exercise increases agility, mental alertness, and produces endorphins that fight against stress and improve mood and overall function.
When you’re stressed out at work in a medical job, the last thing you need is to catch a cold or a disease. This means that by exercising to reduce the chance your body gets a common cold or disease will reduce the amount of stress you might experience in the future.
This means that you reduce the amount of stress you could potentially be exposing yourself to in the future.
Now that you know how simple it is, and how you can easily scale your exercise routine – you should get started exercising today to relieve stress for your medical job.
2. Eat Healthy
Another great way of reducing and relieving stress that you’re exposed to during your medical job is to make a conscientious effort to eat healthy.
Understandably so, when you have a crazy schedule, it’s hard to eat healthy. You usually have no time to eat a full meal and there is little time to actually plan and count calories. But eating right is super important to lowering your stress levels.
Sometimes we forget the critical role that food plays in our bodies. It’s important to remember that food is what fuels your body. It’s what gives you the energy to handle those stressful patients and work environment that a chaotic healthcare setting can provide.
The food we intake affects how we feel, our blood pressure, and our energy. If we eat junk all the time, we have a tendency to feel bad and act badly.
All the sugar and horrible calories we put into our bodies can give us anxiety and high blood pressure which makes us feel terrible and can increase body aches and headaches.
Also, if we have an increase in blood pressure our breathing can get out of whack and cause even more anxiety, which in-turn increases stress. The key takeway is that when you eat right, you decrease the stress you expose yourself to.
One great way of making sure that you eat better throughout the day is to plan your meals throughout the week.
When you plan out your meals throughout the week, you can hold yourself accountable to eating better through healthier choices.
In addition, when you plan out your meals throughout the week you reduce the amount of times you are forced to go get fast food.
While it seems cheap and convenient to go out and get fast food whenever you are on your lunch or dinner break – you don’t realize how much bad food you are putting in your body, or how much money you are spending at any given time.
This means that eating healthy, while it seems like you are going to be spending extra time and money ensuring that you put better food in your body – you’ll be spending less money over time.
Another way of ensuring that you eat healthy and reduce the stress in your medical job is to eat several meals throughout the day.
Whether it’s the chaotic environment, or the stress that builds up over time during a normal shift – sometimes we tend to wait to eat until we get an opportunity.
When this happens, you might not realize it but you are binge-eating cause you are so hungry from not eating throughout the earlier part of the day.
To avoid this, you want to make sure that you space out your meals every few hours, so that you don’t binge-eat at any given time.
Eating healthy is a critical way of improving the working conditions you’re under, and reducing the amount of stress you expose yourself to during your medical job.
3. Take Time Off
Another way to reduce the amount of stress and relieve some of it that you are exposed to during your normal routine is to take time off. It’s hard to do sometimes, and each of us are only allotted a specific amount of time off per year, but taking time away from your job is important.
Every now and then it is important for you to take some time off work and recharge your batteries. Time off is a great way of separating yourself from all the stress that you might be exposed to on a daily basis.
If you work day in and day out, especially on a medical professional schedule, you need some time off. You will go crazy if not, and your job will suffer.
A person can only do so much until they can’t do anymore, and if you work yourself to death, it won’t help you, your employer, or your patients.
Increasing, employers are noticing the importance of taking valuable time off to separate for a little bit, and recharge your batteries a bit to reduce turnover and burnout ratios.
Take some time for yourself to regroup, collect yourself, and de-stress.
It’s been shown that employees who take time off not only help themselves, but help their employers because they do better at their jobs and are happier when they return – which is something both employers and employees want.
Another way to relieve stress during for medical jobs is to make sure that you are organized.
Being unorganized further stresses a person out. If your mind is cluttered it won’t help to have your living and working environments messy as well. Organization helps you keep things clear and at reach.
Arranging your environment also helps you arrange mental items in your brain, which can de-clutter and de-stress.
When you reduce the number of things that are out of place and know where everything is, you don’t have to stress about the little things that are going on in your life.
For instance, the last thing you want to worry about is whether or not you can find something that is critical to your performance in your medical job.
If you have clear places for items in your brain you can easily recall them especially if they are written out and organized in your life.
Decluttering your workspace lets you easily recall where important things are; the same goes for your mind.
If you write things down and compartmentalize, you can better free your mind for more productive things and decrease the stress that comes with clutter and disorganization.
Making sure that you organize what you do and how you do it is a simple way to reduce the stress that you are under, and eliminate stress that you might expose yourself to due to being disorganized.
5. Talk to People
Talking to people is a great way to voice problems and concerns and relieve stress. Find someone who you can relate to and voice your anxieties to.
In addition, when you talk to people you can help share some of the problems or things that are stressing you out with other people. When you take the time to explain how you’re feeling, and share what you are going through with other individuals – it can take some of the stress off of your shoulders.
Sometimes all we require to relieve some stress is to let others know what we’re going through, and get their valuable input.
You never know if one of your friends, family members, or coworkers has the solution to solving some of the problems that are plaguing you and stressing you out.
Your friends, family, and peers can help you by giving you the opportunity to talk to them for a bit.
They can help you problem solve and reason out daily anxieties you have at your job. You don’t want to talk to everybody, and you don’t want a lot of people knowing your anxieties, but if you can find one or two people who you can talk to, it can greatly help out in stressful work environments.
It’s important to remember that you want to separate your work problems from your personal problems – otherwise people can get overwhelmed with some of the problems you are talking about.
In addition, you have to be careful about when you are talking to others about some of the stress you’re dealing with, as you don’t want to distract them from their job or take away from what they should be doing.
This means that you need to be careful about when you choose to talk to your coworkers to vent a little – as you don’t want them to get in trouble, and you don’t want to get in trouble yourself.
Sometimes hearing other people’s stresses can help ease some of your own as well. By listening to what others are dealing with, you might realize that you’re not the only one dealing with a certain issue or certain stressors.
Hearing people talk about what makes them crazy can put in perspective your own problems and help you solve them in a third-person kind of way.
You might not know how to solve a problem on your own, but listening to someone else talk about how they’ve attempted to deal with it in the past might create some valuable insight for you to come up with a solution that could potentially solve the stress that you’re exposed to.
It’s good to have someone to talk to and can greatly help out in a tumultuous situation, and is a great way of relieving stress for your medical job in the healthcare industry.
6. Make Friends
Making friends is another good way to help reduce stress in the workplace.
If you go at it alone, it can be hard and really build up stress because you feel as if you’re the only one struggling with dealing with stressful situations or scenarios.
If you have no friends, you don’t have anyone to really voice your candid opinion to, eat with, or exercise with.
One great way to make friends is to try and befriend a colleague or coworker. If you make a colleague-friend, they can relate with you because they go through the same things, and have the same schedule.
This means that you can really find ways to connect with them that some of their own personal friends cannot relate to them with outside of their daily routine or job.
You can confide in them and they in you which can really help when the anxieties of work life start to build; at least you know there is another person it the struggle with you – it can do wonders for your psyche.
Plus, it never hurts to have more friends. Having more friends builds confidence and helps stave off loneliness.
In addition, when you have some friends,m you can learn more about activities that you might be interested in outside of work. Then when you find out if there are some activities that you are interested in, you can find others to do the activities with.
Taking the time to make some friends will help pay dividends for you when you are looking for something to do or someone to hang with. Social interaction will help ensure that you can relieve stress during your daily routine.
While it might be overlooked, another great way of relieving stress is to make sure that you create a focus on laughing a little bit more. Laughing is good medicine, especially for anxiety and stress.
Laughing causes a physical change in your body that reduces stress and increases happiness.
Similar to working out and exercising, laughing also has an effect on your body which aids in relieving stress. Laughing can have an effect on the body through the release of endorphins, the stimulation of organs, and muscle relaxation properties.
Laughter causes your body to up it’s pain killing hormones which makes us feel good and relieves anxiety.
Also, the increase in oxygen that we breathe in stimulates our hearts and lungs which gets our blood pumping and can relieve stress – in a good way, not like sugar.
In addition, when you laugh it lightens your mood a bit. And when your mood is a bit lighter, you enjoy your job a bit more and it doesn’t feel like you’re doing so much work.
Caring for patients can be difficult work, and when you lighten the mood a bit – you can enjoy your job that much more and eliminate how much “work” it feels like. This means that you can increase your overall job satisfaction by sharing a laugh or two with coworkers.
It’s important to remember though that your laughter or humor needs to be appropriate. The last thing you want is for your patients or coworkers to think that you are laughing at them, or the situation they are in.
If you’re like many other individuals and you find humor in odd situations or scenarios, then you definitely need to be careful when you decide to crack a laugh – or share a joke or two.
Overall laughter lightens our mood and makes it easier for us to handle situations and be around. The long-term effects of laughter strengthens our immune system and just makes us a lighter and more happy person overall.
In addition, there are plenty of other things that laughter does. Laughter helps relax the whole body, and your laughter might even relieve some of the physical stress that your body is under for up to 45 minutes.
Laughter also helps you to improve various blood vessel functions, and increase blood flow – which is helpful in making sure that you enjoy your job a little bit more by being healthy.
One of the reasons that we might be under additional stress could be due to the fact that we are also angry at someone or something.
Laughter can help eliminate some of that anger that we build up over time, and lighten some of the burden that we carry while we are angry or holding a grudge.
Laughing more is better than its opposite, which is to be a curmudgeonly stiff, unhappy person who nobody wants to be around.
So laugh more. People will like you and you won’t be so stressed, which will help you make more friends – as we mentioned earlier.
Essentially, laughter will help improve your professional and personal work life – and help you relieve some of the stress that you are experiencing during your medical job.
8. Have Realistic Expectations
One way to have a better work atmosphere and eliminate some of the tensions and stress you experience in a normal routine is to set and have realistic expectations.
We all dream and dreaming is a good thing. But many times when our realities don’t meet our expectations it makes us depressed, especially in the workplace.
Know where you stand and be okay with that. If you are working harder than you think you are getting paid for, welcome to the real world.
Unfortunately, that’s a pill we all have to swallow, but if you have been at it for a while and are getting nowhere, then sit down with your boss and have a heart-to-heart.
More times than not, they don’t even realize the complications you experience and are unaware of your unhappiness.
They would rather keep you on and keep you happy(-ish) than bring on someone new and go through all the hiring and training processes.
The search, selection, hiring, and training process is incredibly expensive and time consuming. So that means employers and managers will do whatever it takes to try and accommodate you as best as they can.
So talk to them. Let them know where you stand and don’t be a grouch about it. It’s good to have realistic expectations for where you are and where you want to go.
It’s a rarity to get to the top by doing nothing (I know we all seem to see it on social media and stuff, but that’s not reality all of the time).
It can sometimes feel like working in the hospital or healthcare industry is a thankless job, but that isn’t the reality at all. Every single day people are grateful for the work you put in – and every little bit counts.
It’s important to have realistic expectations about what you expect from the job you are currently working in, and remember that if you have concerns it is highly advisable for you to talk to your supervisor or employer to see how to meet the expectations you have.
So keep doing your best and realize Rome wasn’t built in a day, and your career won’t be built in a day either.
9. Do Your Best
Another way you can relieve stress in your job is to ensure that you are doing your best day in and day out. This is along the same lines of the previous sentiment, one can only do one’s best and accept that.
If you do your best, then you can live stress free knowing that you did your best and that’s all you can control. You shouldn’t worry about what you can’t control and eliminating those concerns will help set your mind at ease and relieve some of the stress you experience during your medical job.
Don’t compare yourself to others or you will always be disappointed and stressed out.
Live up to your own standards and do the best you can do for where you are at and for where you want to go.
If you live your life trying to live up to what you see on social media, or trying to be like Suzy B. Perfect, who exists at your job only to do what she can for your company, you will be miserable.
Most chances are those people aren’t happy existing in the standards they have to live in to uphold those positions, so believe that you don’t want to be them anyway. Being you is the best thing to be.
10. Be Positive
This is a hard one, because life can really suck sometimes. But it really is the key to a lot of problems.
Having a positive attitude has allowed people to overcome some impressive obstacles, and will enable you to relieve some of the stress you might be experiencing.
The mind holds a strong position in how we exist in this world, so if you go around with a sour attitude, more than likely your reality will suck.
It’s easy to look at the negatives, be the difference and find the positives in life. I bet that things will improve and the stress you are under will decrease if you start looking at things through happier glasses.
Working any job isn’t easy and it takes so much time away from the lives we want to live, but unfortunately it is a way of life we can’t escape.
This means that we have to find ways and take proactive steps to relieve some of the natural stress that arises both professionally and personally.
Use these resources and suggestions to better help you manage your on-the-job stress and live a happier life in and out of the hospital.