Updated: Oct 29, 2021
With current events as they are, we as medical professionals find ourselves in a situation where there is so much going on outside our circle of control. So how can we manage our stress and stay positive during these challenging times?
How we tackle problems and manage stress is driven by our mindset.
Our mindset is not only crucial for our career, but also critical for helping us strike that work-life balance and building resilience for when the going gets tough. Our thoughts affect our mood, our behaviours and ultimately our destiny.
Traditional medical education is about acquiring and applying knowledge. Yet we could have been through the whole of our school and medical education without really learning how to train our most powerful tool: our minds.
Here are five ways you can change your mindset to help you cope better with the stress and demands of the current situation:
How you can use your mindset to cope better with stress
#1 Remember that there is so much still that is within our control
We can control how we react to what is going on around us. For example, how much news we watch, and whether we talk about doom and gloom or share positive stories. We also have control over our own self-care routine, and making sure we keep it up - even if it might look a little different.
#2 See difficulties as an opportunity rather than a hurdle
We can connect, learn and develop from challenges. For example, the current situation has brought many people closer to their immediate neighbours. It has lead to people taking up new interests such as DIY or gardening, while enjoying a slower pace of life.
#3 Break problems down into smaller elements
Sometimes we can only see the big challenge ahead of us - whether that’s the lack of time or the stress of work.
If we break it down into smaller tasks, we not only get the reward of ticking each bit off as we go, but we can choose to tackle it one piece at a time - rather than feeling so overwhelmed we never start.
#4 Find a friend to be a sounding board for you
As the old saying goes, a problem shared is often a problem halved - and it’s really true! Sometimes simply saying something out loud can help you offload the surrounding emotions, or commit to new resolutions.
#5 Feel like you are already winning or achieving your goals
Techniques such as visualisation or affirmations make you feel positive, which then influences your behaviour. So you start to act in a way to attract the life you want.
Use these techniques in your self-care and personal and professional development. To start seeing changes, you need to practice them daily, until they become habits. Tell us how you get on in the comments below.
Written by Dr Angela Goyal Founder and Director and Dr Katie Blissard Barnes, Lead Content Writer
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