Would you like to find out how to relax more often and as a result be a more effective doctor?
Some days the work seems overwhelming. As soon as you finish with one thing there is another patient to see, another phone call to answer and another crisis to deal with. There seems to be no time for anything, no time to stop for a meal, almost no time to breathe. Even though you are convinced there is no time to do anything else there are some things you can do:
Become more aware of your breathing. Pause and breathe. However rushed you are, however stressed you feel, however much pressure others are putting on you, take a few seconds and pause and breathe consciously, slowly in and out, count to 5 slowly as you breathe in and as you breathe out to focus on your breathing. How long will that take? ten or twenty seconds at most. And the benefit? You will feel calmer and more able to carry on.
Notice your environment At the same time as connecting with your breathing or at other times just take a few seconds to look up and out of a window and become aware there is a world outside of the hospital. Notice the sky and be conscious of a world beyond where you are. If you are in a room with no windows then look at some flowers or as a last resort just close your eyes for a moment and think about a place you love to be in the countryside or beside the sea. Just a few moments then open your eyes and carry on with renewed energy.
Nourish yourself When you are busy and rushing about it is too easy to skip meals or grab a sugary snack and eat it while you answer emails or search for a patient’s notes. If you take time to get something more healthy to fill the gap, or take it with you each day and take some time away from the ward, away from the patients while you eat and enjoy it, you will return with renewed energy and be able to cope much more effectively with whatever the rest of the day brings.
Follow these three tips every day and monitor how you feel you will notice a steady improvement in your concentration, your energy and your well-being and as a result you will be a more effective doctor too.
PS Very few places left for Connect and Change – Retreat for Doctors in Cornwall April 2014 Don’t leave booking until all the very limited places are gone.