Are you overwhelmed at work to such an extent that you feel deflated, depleted, and emotionally drained? You may be experiencing burnout – and you’re not alone! Burnout can ruin careers and lives, but only if we let it. What many don’t realize is that burnout has a positive side. The key to managing burnout is to leverage the positive side over the negative. In this article, we are going to offer up a few tips that can help save your career from the perils of burnout.
Focus on Sleep
Many surgeons simply do not get enough sleep. Me included! I am very well trained in sleep deprivation. Until fairly recently, I was proud of this ability. One way to train FOR the worst case scenario is to train IN the worst case scenario. While I am still able to turn on my system in the middle of the night in ways others might not understand, I now see some changes in my ability to handle periods of frequent middle of the night call duties. I am continuing to address my performance and self-care. Start to recognize how much sleep you get every night, and see where you can add more if needed. Power naps and changes to improve quality of sleep are other ways to improve our sleep recovery. It may seem like you need to burn the midnight oil to get your work done but being well-rested can improve your proficiency at work – allowing you to get more done in less time. Where is your threshold?
With social media, constant texting, and email updates continually ringing in our pockets, many people feel the need to respond immediately and always be available. It’s no wonder we feel drained! Do your best to strategically disconnect. Strategically is the keyword here. Obviously, you shouldn’t disconnect yourself from everything if you’re on call, but when you can – turn your phone off, don’t respond to emails, and schedule time for yourself to do leisure activities that give you pleasure and recharge your batteries.
Don’t Feel Defeated
Remember that you are not “giving up” in recognizing that you are feeling the effects of burnout. There is no defeat in recognizing that you need to make some changes to improve your wellness. It generally means that you have not allowed yourself enough physical, mental, and emotional rest and recovery in between the bursts of intense performance for our patients.
Connect with the SurgeonMasters Community
If you or a physician you know are experiencing warning signs of burnout, SurgeonMasters is here to help. We are a wellness and coaching organization focused on helping surgeons combat burnout and build sustainable practices. How do we do that? By providing a variety of educational materials, including podcasts, blogs, webinars, and meetups. Join a community of like-minded surgeons helping each other build lifestyle-friendly practices. Contact us today to learn more or join our mailing list to get the latest updates.