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Self-care Before Patient Care : 10 Ways to Boost Your Resilience in 2018 - Part 2

Dermatology TimesJune 2018 (Vol. 39, No. 06)
Volume 39
Issue 6

In April we reviewed the first five tips to help boost your resilience and well being in 2018. Below are the final five in the second part of this two-part article.

In April we reviewed the first five tips to help boost your resilience and well being in 2018. Below are the final five in the second part of this two-part article. 

1. Double up when it makes sense.

The folly of multitasking is that we think we’re accomplishing more. The truth is, our brains can only focus on one thing at a time. Yet there are times when killing two birds with one stone doesn’t compromise quality.

One excellent time-saver is to do multiple errands on the same outing, particularly when geographically close to one another or on the same route. Take a minute to consider what other tasks you have in a given area to boost productivity. You can stay connected to friends and family by doubling up during your fitness time –invite a friend for a hike, take a bike ride with your kids, or a phone call while getting in your steps at the park.

2. Prune away time-wasters.

Time-wasters are sneaky little minions that creep into our lives looking innocent and beneficial. Being brutally honest, consider what activities or habits you’d be better off without and what small ways you can be more thoughtful and efficient with your time. This might mean off-loading activities that slow you down and compromise performance in higher priority areas. An example would be social media because of it’s tendency to bog us down.

This can be the year you give up a habit that’s doing more harm than good and prioritize family time or self-enrichment activities over less-meaningful time-wasters. It takes time to create new routines and habits. Stick with it – you’ve got this!

3. Embrace gratitude.

It’s simple, but effective. Our perspective can impact our emotional well-being and performance. Some people are naturally negative, drawing motivation from perfectionism, but that perspective doesn’t serve you when assessing areas outside your control.

An attitude of gratitude can reduce stress and anxiety while boosting health and contentment.  You’ve worked hard, accomplished much and are likely blessed with at least a few trust-worthy, supportive (maybe even phenomenal) colleagues, staff, family, friends, or mentors. Reflect on how far your practice and career have come and consider all the doors that had to open to get you there. Support from loved-ones, professors, religious leaders, mentors, and childhood coaches likely have had a profound impact on your life.

It’s worthwhile to train your brain to ponder these things regularly and act on them with a simple email, phone call, note card, prayer, or thought of thanksgiving! You’ll be amazed at how this impacts the people around you as well as your own perspective and ability to respond to challenges and difficult seasons.

4. Set goals, rekindle hope, and allow yourself to dream.

Sometimes we plough through the daily demands of our careers with our heads down so close to the details we can’t see the forest for the trees, especially in a high-volume specialty like dermatology. If you find yourself just surviving the rigors of practicing with a goal that’s growing ever more vague it’s time for a personal planning retreat!

Businesses and practices have planning retreats where mission statements are hammered out, core values are identified, and short and long-term goals are set. Why not tap into this concept for your personal life? It’s essential to your well being to have goals that excite you and a plan to get there will spark fresh hope and energy into your work. It could be a weekend with your spouse or a series of discussions; some of which involve professionals like a financial planner.

These times can redefine priorities and be catalysts to small changes that have a huge impact in the long run. Take some personal time to allow your self to dream big, define goals, and rekindle hope and excitement!

5. Prioritize.

Does just reading this article stress you out? Are you overwhelmed with a big “to-do” list whether it’s in your head or in this article? Does it seem to be all around you secretly whispering “you’re failing”? Take a deep breath. You can’t do it all, no matter how much your kids think you have the energy of a superhero or your staff thinks you have all the answers! We have to prioritize or we’ll die trying to do it all! 

Setting goals is a perfect place to start. Prioritize what you want to accomplish and tick them off however slow you need to. Make small tweaks and celebrate micro-victories!  Did you exercise more and waste less time this week? Did you define a new goal and work toward a do-able action plan? Sounds like success to me!

You’ll drive yourself crazy, give negative thoughts wings, and feel guilty if you have unrealistic expectations on yourself.  Break down your highest priorities into do-able changes and take the first steps toward better self-care and improved resilience!

These tips to boost your resilience are not quick fixes, but rather concepts that need to be applied and require constant re-evaluation of your priorities, goals, expectations, ways you spend time, and divvy up life’s responsibilities.

You are in charge of your life, even though it feels sometimes like it runs you! Life isn’t stagnant and neither are your dreams and goals. Take time to find solutions and make adjustments to meet your current needs, long-term health, and goals.

No apologies needed.

For more valuable tips on work-life balance see Cheryl’s article on Dermatology Times herehttp://dermatologytimes.modernmedicine.com/dermatology-times/news/finding-your-balance

Morin, Amy. “7 Scientifically Proven Benefits Of Gratitude That Will Motivate You To Give Thanks Year-Round.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 27 Nov. 2017, www.forbes.com/sites/amymorin/2014/11/23/7-scientifically-proven-benefits-of-gratitude-that-will-motivate-you-to-give-thanks-year-round/#6314336c183c.

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