I am burnout now what?
I sat in my bedroom Wednesday night staring at the ceiling. I was too tired to even watch a TV show, to study.... or even to sleep. Yes, I personally can get too tired to sleep. My brain is filled with to-do lists. Long and short. Complex and simply. Patient charts, laundry, dishes, exams, assignments, study material, quizlets, family drama the works. It never ends. All I want is to take a break, but I am too burn out to even consider the thought. I am too adicted to the adrenal.
The reality is a lot of people in health care feel like I do. Stress is addictive. Coritsol keeps you going... until it doesn't. .Until you literally just don't care. I
Medical care professionals have people's lives in their hands. Literal. And we have a nation of doctors facing burnout before they even leave their safe medical school walls. That is a problem. It is a problem with the institution of medicine and the way we structure schools. But all that isn't changing anytime soon so I have to take personal responsibility everyday to make sure I am healthy.
So what did I do about it?
I took the following 7 steps that helped me get my put into gear. When googled results on this topic, I got so annoyed at the suggests. I mean I can't even watch gilmore girls how in the world do you think I am going to be to work on myself? But the reality is that nothing is going to make me magically get out of bed and care. I need to put the why back in the morning step. Why in the hell do I get up? What am I working for? Why do I even care? What is the next step? And the only way that worked for me is the next 7 steps. Hope they can give you some sort of why?
1. took my happiness out of the game.
Medicine isn't about me. I didn't go into medicine to cure me of anything. I am pretty darn healthy human being and the world has yet to start revolving around me (super fortunately thing there as my ability to formulated hydrogen bonds is zilch). Personally, I walked onto a clinic shift the other day annoyed at the schedule I was given for many reason. When I got in the room, the patient needed help. I was in my head worrying about my feelings and my annoyance and me. That is selfish. Pure and simple. My own crisis, mood, and ability to work with people should be my last priority when I am not in the room. I was so thankful for this moment because it gave me the ability to check my ego at the door and be the servant I was called to be in this field.
This is one of my least favorite things talk about. It is sooooooo frustrating. Seriously. Who wants to sit still and do nothing when there is so much to do. There reality is, mediation is usually what allows me to come home. Most days it's less than 5 minutes. But literally every time it is game changer.
I like to use Spotify and youtube to get some good audio meditation and sometimes I just like to focus on breathing.
There was a time last quarter that I spent every morning starting out with a process called "Daily pages." It is part of Julia cameron's "The artist's way" which I highly recommend if you are able to fit it in. The idea is that you fill 3 pages (like actually huge paper) of a journal with free writing the first thing in the morning. You don't edit and you don't even read it. You keep writing until you are done and you don't judge what you have to say. Now I am not as consistent as I would like to be, but I at least do participate about 3 times per week.
When I do commit to the three pages it helps so much for me to be vocal about my needs, I communicate better with my husband and I actually speak up in class. It is really helpful for sorting out the mess that is sitting between my ears. (Pst it works even better if I do it after my morning meditation).
I like many people love podcasts because I can get stuff done while I listen. I really love having someone give me advice about topics I know nothing about. I can learn and I can be motivation while getting thing marked off the to do list. I feel like this has been essential in terms of my overall fatigue. I need positive motivation to keep going when all I want to do is give up.
So what are you listening to you ask? Lately, I have been listen to Amanda Frances " And she rises" podcast lately as well as Gary Vee's daily podcast and they both are pretty amazing.
5. I got organized
I can either call it divine timing or really big mistake, but I turned on Tidying up Marie Kondo's figuring it would be good vegging show. Boy was I wrong. That show has helped me turn my clutter filled, bins of junk, more closes than I space for apartment into a neat organized home. I literally have the pens in my junk drawer sorted by color. The fridge has food label with use by date. Everything has a place.
How do I keep it going? That is pretty easy. I follow clean mama's cleaning schedule. She posted on instagram the schedule everyday so it is easy for me to remember what I am suppose to get done in each day. It takes me maybe 15 minutes if I am being picky and I love. Plus I use this e-book to make home-made cleaning supplies!
6. Found the fun.
I started to write this blog. I have learned about 15 new recipes. I have tried out a plant-based diet. I started new workout routines. My husband and I watch one episode of a new favorite show. I listen to music. I dared myself to learn new things. I exposed myself to things outside of medicine and science. I made an effort to love my life. And I am committed to keeping that up.
This one is so cliche. It has been said so many times. You have heard it so many times. But it is real and it really helps. I am absolutely thankful for my life. I am healthy. I have money in my bank. Food in fridge. Gas in car (well technically I need to fill it up again... but there is a gas station a block away!) I have a husband that loves me. I have make up that is brand new. I have a computer. I have TV. I have a pretty awesome self phone. I have bluetooth headphone. I have knowledge that some people would literally kill for (Please don't though I am not done yet). I am so happy for my life. And when I take the time to be thankful for the life God has given me, my energy takes a completely 180. I am no longer tired. I am ready to keep going for just a little bit longer.
So here is the thing. I am not a doctor. I don't have my degree yet. I cannot tell you the ultimate way to get that drive back. I cannot tell you how to find your why. All I can say is that I got over the annoying idea that these practices could help, and I actually did them. When I did, it worked. It's hard. I am sure you are tired. I am sure you have even tried these. If you are in actually burnout, or have signs of depression, please ask for help.
I am not a medical professional. Anything is said on this website is either sources research or personal experience. The blog, this website and all of its contents are not to be seen as medical advice. Please contact your physician for personalized medical care.