Author: Jessica Hinson, PharmD, BCACP, Professional Affairs Division Director, OSHP
Ohio Northern University Raabe College of Pharmacy
“Wellbeing” and “Burnout” have been trending topics recently among healthcare professional organizations recently. OSHP has even focused on the importance of these ideas with the 2019 Annual Meeting having a focus of “Taking Better Care of Ourselves for Our Patients”.
Although many of us may be becoming numb to these topics as they have become buzzwords in our profession, it is important to remember that these ideas became headline news because of their importance to ourselves and to our patients.
Several pharmacy organizations, including ASHP, have published statements supporting efforts to protect pharmacist well being through reduction of burnout and excessive stressors in the workplace. There are now published recommendations now in the form of both consensus statements as well as from individual organizations with ways in which employers can improve the wellness of their pharmacists while improving care provided to patients.
That leaves one question remaining...what can we do as practitioners in the meantime?
Here are some tips from the National Council for Behavioral Health on how we can take better care of ourselves
1. Practice Self-Acceptance
We frequently focus on the parts of ourselves that we wish to change. We look to obtain the ideal weight, dress in a particular manner, or perfect our appearance. These goals may have the best intentions, but also focus on the negativity we feel about ourselves. Practice self-acceptance by celebrating your traits that you love and learning to accept those you have previously thought of as flaws.
2. Blossom into a Social Butterfly!
Even if you are an introvert like myself, fostering close relationships with others has been shown to make us happier and healthier. Take time for friends and family, put yourself in new social situations, and volunteer for causes that you love. Connecting with people that love the same things you do will bring you happiness and lower your stress.
3. Work on your fitness
This doesn’t mean you have to purchase a gym membership or join crossfit (although those things are awesome!) Even getting just 10 minutes more a day will help reduce stress, increase relaxation, and lower anxiety.
4. Be more like Sleeping Beauty
Many of us don’t get enough sleep, especially with pressures of work, family, and life in general. The National Sleep Foundation recommends 7-9 hours of sleep a night. Remember your sleep hygiene lessons such as avoiding using televisions and phones in bed before you go to sleep!
5. Put Yourself First
As healthcare professionals and educators we frequently put the needs of others before our own. Remember that you can only give as much of yourself as you care for! Recognize your limits, remove toxicity from your life, and take time to treat yourself occasionally. Relax, recharge, and flourish.
I hope these tips can help us recenter ourselves and live a better healthier life.