Self Care at Practice – Part 2

It is a myth to believe that working long hours at a hectic pace makes you productive and a more caring physician. By now most of us recognize that overwork and stress cause everything from decreased performance and irritability all the way to increased medical errors. Taking better care of you makes good patient sense.

Ideas to get Started for Self Care at Practice

Below I am sharing with you a couple of ideas to get you started. But, of course, there are no limits. Incorporate some of the suggestions for the next month and see what happens. You’ll find that you not only are more attentive to your patients, but you will also create more joy and time for your life.

1. I schedule 10 minutes of silence in my day where I just sit quietly and focus on my breathing.
2. I take a work/lunch break everyday and do something unrelated to work. For example, I take a walk around the office, practice my 10 minutes of silence or listen to a relaxation tape.
3. I train myself to consistently look for ways to delegate tasks in order to empower others while I do what I know best.
4. I stop taking on more than I can handle. When asked to take on a new responsibility, I give myself time to check with myself whether I can fulfill this assignment without suffering or sacrificing my self-care.
5. I know my top five priorities, and I make sure I honor them consistently.
6. I do my best to allot sufficient time for charting in my work schedule so that I don’t take “paperwork” home. (Bonus: I also ensure I feel confident and proficient to use the EMR effectively.)
7. I do whatever it takes to create a healthy and clutter-free work environment.
8. I hire and work with only highly competent and talented people whom I get along with.
9. I always look for ways to improve my work flow and efficiency.
10. I consistently acknowledge myself and my team for a work well done.

Customize them

Think of these suggestions as a major component for excellent patient care, and customize them to fit your need. Once you have your self-care list, print it out and look at it daily. Putting it into practice may be challenging at first since these suggestions do require a little time, which most of us think we don’t have. To ensure success, you may want to ask a colleague to join you in this change. I can assure you, once you practice them, you’ll be more effective at work and more relaxed at home.

Previous:  Self Care at Practice – Part 1


Though the views expressed above are solely the writer’s, Guthrie supports “The Dose with Dr. Goodhook” and is partnering with Adventures in Medicine to create an open, inspiring and insightful community for residents and physicians. Click here to learn more about ways that Guthrie is making practice purposeful. 

To read more from this author click on The Balanced Physician.