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How to Deal with Burnout and Stress Management
What is “Burnout?”
Burnout is a state of exhaustion mentally, physically, and emotionally. It is caused by overwhelming amounts of stress and occurs when you are unable to meet constant demands in your personal and professional life. Eventually, the stress will cause you to lose your interest and motivation in the things that normally bring you joy.
As you start to burn out, every area of your life becomes negatively affected. Not only will it affect your mental state in your home, work, and social life, but it can also cause physical changes in your body, including weight gain. Also, your immune system can become compromised making you more susceptible to common illnesses like the cold and flu. Because of all of these consequences, you should deal with burnout immediately and be proactive about preventing more stressful situations.
Burnout in the Pharmacy Industry
In the medical field, burnout is very common and is especially prevalent in the pharmaceutical industry. There are a few different reasons as to why pharmacists experience burnout more than others; some of them being that they have an extremely heavy workload, there is typically a lack of a workplace community, and most pharmacists work in isolation. Pharmacists and pharmacy workers also report that they do not feel valued at work, feel as though they do not have control over their workload, and they feel as though they are unfairly treated at their organizations.
How to Manage Stress and Minimize Burnout Risk
There are many ways that you can personally manage your stress to avoid the risk of burning out. Firstly, you must prioritize your personal and professional goals in your life. Try to ask yourself questions about each area of your life:
- What activities do I enjoy and am I making time to participate in them?
- Am I getting enough exercise?
- Am I eating healthy and nourishing my body?
- Have I seen my general doctor in the last 12 months?
- Am I feeling happy and at ease most of the time?
If you are unsatisfied with the answers to these questions, you should take the time to address your needs.
General Factors that Prevent Burnout
If you are feeling stress in your pharmacy environment there are some things you can do that will help almost immediately in reducing your stress levels and decreasing your risk for burnout.
- Social Interactions
- Make sure to spend time with friends and family that make you feel at ease, loved, and supported.
- Being around your loved ones naturally reduces stress and anxiety levels by releasing the hormone Oxytocin.
- Creative Activities
- Painting, cooking, writing, and any other creative outlets allow you to relax and forget about the pressures of work.
- Taking the time out of your day to exercise allows you to release endorphins that raise you happiness levels and will improve your mood throughout the day.
- Take a Break
- During busy times of the year at work, don’t be afraid to take a few days off. Even a mini-reset will allow you to relax, engage in your favorite activities, and get some clarity before heading back to work.
How to Keep Your Employees from Burning Out
If you are a pharmacy owner, or in a leadership position at your specialized pharmacy, there are also steps to take to help yourself and your employees manage stress and prevent burnout.
- Engage with your team and regularly communicate with them to ensure they are not feeling overly stressed at work.
- Eliminate Obstacles/Observe the Environment
- Ensure that your employees are trained for potential issues that may come up with patients or physicians.
- Watch the day-to-day interactions at your pharmacy to be sure that your employees are treating patients right, and vice versa.
- Positive Attitude
- Although your pharmacy environment will likely be busy and overwhelming at times, try to stay positive around your employees.
- Seeing a calm and productive leader will put your employees at ease and will inspire them to do their job effectively and efficiently.
- Prioritize Important Tasks
- Within your pharmacy there are so many small tasks that must be done each day to succeed. When times get extra busy, you should prioritize the most important and toughest tasks first to get these out of the way.
- By completing the hardest tasks first, your team’s stress levels will lower allowing you all to do your jobs as best you can.
To conclude, always be sure to check in with yourself regularly to assess how you are feeling to avoid burn out.