It’s 7.30am Wednesday morning. As you stare deliriously at your morning coffee you begin to wonder if you even went home overnight. Sound familiar? The ubiquitous ‘struggle to juggle’ a healthy work life balance is something Australians, and in particular medical professionals, deal with on a daily basis.
Whilst you may pride yourself on your work ethic and durability, it is widely accepted that working long hours increases stress and jeopardises personal health. Unfortunately, many of us do not have the freedom to decrease work hours at our discretion. So how then can we maintain a healthy work life balance?
Power of the mind
Firstly, you must enjoy the struggle. A simple change of mindset is often all it takes to make the unbearable not only bearable, but enjoyable. Think about the things you enjoy at work and try to do these things often.
Regularly remind yourself why you became a doctor in the first place and appreciate the positive impact you have on patients lives day in and day out.
Now think about the things you don’t enjoy. Challenging or rudimentary tasks, long meetings, a difficult colleague or patient. Know that all these things you don’t enjoy are likely generating personal development. Embrace that part of your job, set yourself a daily goal and reward yourself when you achieve it.
Use your support system
Having an open dialogue with your friends, family and colleagues can help to ease pressures that you may be facing. They may even have ideas that have helped them deal with similar situations.
Spending a larger portion of your waking hours at work makes how you spend your leisure time a critical determinant of your broader well-being. Whilst down time should be devoted to essential needs such as eating, sleeping, hygiene and exercise, remember to make time for the things you love to do including spending time with friends and family.
The power of ‘No’
In organising your leisure time, learn to say ‘No’ (without feeling guilty) to partaking in activities that don’t excite you. Instead, commit time to activities that truly bring you joy.
Finally, embrace the off button. By this we refer figuratively to the off button in your mind and literally to the off button on technology. Technology should improve your life, not control it. When you unplug and step back you will start to experience one of life’s greatest gifts – perspective. The problems you are wrestling with in your mind will be perceived with clarity and you will appreciate the things that really matter.
“Never get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life” – Dolly Parton
The information contained in this content piece is general and is not intended to serve as advice. DPM Financial Services Group recommends you obtain advice concerning specific matters before making a decision.