When you first practiced medicine did you feel stress during your first major procedure or an emergency situation where the life of a patient depended on you? I am sure you did, most people experience stress when they do something new the very first time or when something valuable is at stake. Nowadays, I assume as well, your stress level is controlled when you do these routine procedures. Sure, your adrenaline may be up slightly, you may have a heightened sense of focus but that voice in your head that tells you that you could fail or that the worse could happen, probably quieted down quite a bit. You accept the stressors or better yet you learned to control them. These events don’t stress you anymore; they are part of life and maybe you even get a thrill out of it.
So how about all the other current stressors you have in life? The cumbersome EMR system, the increased paperwork, the boring meetings that lead nowhere, the lack of performance of the people around you, the carelessness of other people that you experience daily – these stressors have been going on for months maybe sometimes years and you still haven’t been able yet to control them, shake them off quickly, put them in a new perspective, accept them for what they are and let them go and be.
But it is those stressors that contribute to the drained mood at the end of the day, the shortness that you bring sometimes to the conversations with your family, the need to have a glass of alcohol at the end of the day, the burnout that is creeping up slowly but surely.
If you are stressing over the same things that you did last month or last year, it is time to let them go. It is time to allow introspection, it is time to get clarity on how it is impacting your life short-term and long-term. And it is time to put boundaries and support in place so that you restore your sanity and satisfaction.
Nagging circumstances and stressful events rob you of time and energy – learn to control them and you will be more effective and content. It is possible! Do it now!
As a physician coach I point my clients in the direction of performance principles behind the human experience. As their understanding deepens, their joy increases. They act with greater ease, efficiency, and leadership.