Burnout! 5 Tips From A Health Professional
Feeling burnt out?
Ready to quit your job, but just wish you had alternative options as a health professional?
You’re not alone.
In fact, you’re in good company. A report published in The Lancet described physician burnout as a public health crisis.
Having lived through it myself, I felt alone… but a 2018 survey of America’s Physicians Practice Patterns and Perspectives reported that 78% of physicians had burnout, an increase of 4% since 2016. Similarly, 80% of doctors in a British Medical Association 2019 survey were at high or very high risk of burnout, with junior doctors most at risk, followed by general practitioner partners.
It’s not just doctors. Nurses, pharmacists, and other health professionals are also at risk for burnout.
So what is burnout? And what can you do about it?
Burnout is a state of physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion that can be caused by prolonged or chronic stress. When you’re burnt out, you may feel like you’re running on empty. You may be tired all the time, even if you’ve had a good night’s sleep. You may be irritable and quick to anger. You may have trouble concentrating or remembering things. You may get sick more often than usual.
For me, I felt like my work was never-ending and that there was no light at the end of the tunnel.
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s important to take action to address the underlying cause of your burnout. Otherwise, you may find yourself unable to continue working or taking care of yourself and your family.
Believe me, having my 4-year-old son hold my hand to comfort me was not something I had ever planned for!
There are a few things you can do to address burnout:
1. Identify the source of your stress.
What is causing you to feel overwhelmed and exhausted?
Is it your job?
Your home life?
Once you identify the source of your stress, you can begin to take steps to address it.
2. Make time for yourself.
Jesus said, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.”
We shouldn’t let our work consume us to the point where we don’t have time for rest and relaxation.
Make sure to schedule some time each week for yourself — even if it’s just an hour or two. During this time, do something that brings you joy — read a book, go for a walk, listen to music, watch a movie, etc.
3. Find a support group.
There are many different types of support groups available — both in-person and online — that can help you manage stress and prevent burnout. Find one that meets your needs and make sure to attend regularly.
4. Talk to someone.
If you’re struggling to cope with stress on your own, don’t be afraid to reach out for help from a trusted friend or family member or professional counsellor. Talking about what you’re going through can help you gain a new perspective and find new ways to cope with stress.
For me, I reached a point where I needed professional help and time out. Yet after going through all that, I felt I also needed a coach, someone who looked to the future and we could carve out a strategy to thrive again. That’s when I finally made the decision that I’d been holding back for 10 years.
5. Eliminate the exposure!
Something we advise in healthcare is if something is making you sick, remove it…. eliminate the exposure first. Similarly in public health, when there’s an outbreak, we quickly work to find and eliminate the source!
So I decided to take back control and create the conditions that are conducive to my health and happiness.
I needed to create work that would give me the opportunity to continue serving and helping create a healthier, happier world. But I also needed an option that would treat me well too. An option that would give me the sense of freedom to work where, when, how, and with whom I wanted to.
That eventually led to the creation of my business, The Entrepreneur’s Doctor.
So if you’re feeling burnt out, rest assured that you’re not alone. Millions of people worldwide are struggling with burnout right alongside you.
But there is hope!
By taking some proactive steps — such as identifying the source of your stressors and making time for yourself –you can begin to put an end to the cycle of burnout. So don’t give up!
Help is available.
Starting very soon, I’ll be doing two things to help:
- Each week on Tribe Talks, my weekly podcast, I’ll teach you how to start, build, and grow your own online business. For most, this may be an online health business, serving as a coach, consultant, or expert advisor. However, I know you may be completely “done” with the health sector, and feel like pursuing something completely unrelated to medicine Whether it’s music, photography, art, or any other passion you have, there’s a business there ready to bring to life.
- I’ll also start hosting live weekly Zoom calls, where I’ll be there to help answer your questions and coach you to create a business that treats you well… that’s the alternative option you were looking for.
So stay tuned… something fun is on the way :)
Your health business coach,
Dr Behrooz Behbod is a Harvard, Oxford, US CDC, and UK NHS trained public health physician with 25+ years of international experience across health, business, and education. As The Entrepreneur’s Doctor, Behrooz helps fellow Health Experts build and grow their online business so they can scale their impact, work less, and enjoy the freedom of doing what they love. After decades in the health service, his own burnout taught Behrooz that if we want better population health or better healthcare, we need to start with Patient Zero… fellow Health Professionals.
The Entrepreneur’s Doctor is on a mission to create a healthier, happier world, by helping one fellow Health Professional at a time. Need help with your online health business? Connect with Dr Behrooz Behbod here: https://www.entrepreneurs.doctor.
DISCLAIMER: The content is provided for information only and is not intended as a substitute for medical or any other professional advice. The content is not necessarily representative of any organisations affiliated with Dr Behrooz Behbod. The views or opinions expressed by guests are not necessarily shared or endorsed by Dr Behrooz Behbod.