What to do to have a more balanced life as a doctor:
1. Stop taking physical documents, patient’s files and journals with you in order to catch up during the evening or weekend. Instead just leave the files, the work diary or the briefcase in your office at work. Leasve it there and also so something to tell yourself you are leaving it there until tomorrow and you will deal with it then. This could be saying something to yourself as you wash your hands: ‘I’m leaving all that stuff here until tomorrow.’
2. Stop taking thoughts with you so that you no longer find it difficult to ‘switch off’ and are able to stop thinking about a particular patient and whether or not you might have missed something or prescribed the right treatment. Instead be aware that every time you take a breath in you are breathing in relaxation and calmness and as you breathe out you are letting go of tension and stress.
3. Stop dealing with other people’s questions and expectations: even if they have a medical problem and think you are willing to give your opinion whatever the time is and wherever you may be. Instead say ‘no’ assertively, calmly and firmly. Everyone including you is entitled to some leisure time and tell them to make an appointment to see you professionally if they want your professional expertise.