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4 Ways Healthcare Professionals Can Build Resilience and Fight Burnout

Written by: Alex Brown
Published on: Dec 8, 2022

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When something goes wrong in your life, how do you respond? Do you bounce back or do you struggle to cope?

Building resilience, or the ability to adapt in the face of challenges, is a skill. It’s not about putting up with difficulties and “sticking it out” but about learning to react in a way that will help you function better as a healthcare professional. Addressing challenges in a positive way will help you respond confidently, find joy in your life, and handle stress better.

Building resilience is one of the best ways to prevent or overcome burnout. Research shows that healthcare professionals with strong resilience have lower rates of burnout and a higher sense of personal accomplishment.

Here are four of the top ways to build your resilience as a healthcare professional and enjoy your work each day, which can significantly reduce or even cure burnout.

1. Develop Strong Relationships
Personal connection is one of the most potent tools in alleviating stress. It might be tempting to isolate yourself while struggling with burnout, but research shows that social isolation harms physical and mental health. So instead, work on creating strong relationships to improve your well-being and reaction to stress.

Good relationships with coworkers, family members, and friends can provide vital emotional support when needed. Establish or renew these connections by reaching out to loved ones, volunteering your time, or joining a faith or spiritual community.

2. Focus on What You Can Control
Acceptance is an essential aspect of resilience. It’s vital to accept stressful situations you can’t change, as well as your own personal limitations. However, that doesn’t mean that you don’t have the power to make changes to how you respond to difficult situations.

You can focus on any aspects of a challenge that you can change. For example, if you respond quickly with emotion, start delaying your response until you have had time to consider how to react and choose your words carefully.

Being consistent in your approach to challenges is a powerful way to build resiliency and take control of situations. For instance, getting adequate sleep when you have the opportunity, eating nutritious meals regularly, and getting routine exercise all help in reducing stress. Also, ensure that you take regular breaks throughout your shift to stretch, rest, and check in with colleagues.

While you may not be able to change certain work issues, such as your patient volume, hours, or administrative workload, ensure that you control what you can by taking care of yourself and tending to your needs as a human being.

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3. Recognize the Importance of Your Role
Acknowledge how your role impacts patient health and well-being. Celebrate the fact that you are improving the quality of life for many people. When stressed, recognizing your importance as a healthcare professional can help you find perspective and feel gratitude about what you do.

Positive self-reflection is great for stress management and resiliency. So practice embracing your role and take time to recognize your impact on others.

4. Embrace Mindfulness
Mindfulness techniques, such as prayer, meditation, and breathwork, can be vital tools for healthcare professionals. Hundreds of studies have found that mindfulness-based therapy effectively decreases stress, anxiety, and depression, which can greatly reduce feelings of burnout.

As for tools, apps such as Headspace and Calm are great for people to learn meditation techniques and receive guided meditation practices. The Wim Hof Method app also provides valuable breathing exercises, and even cold shower techniques, which may also decrease anxiety.

Improving Resiliency to Fight Burnout
Being resilient in the medical industry requires you to put some focus on healthy habits. Working on coping skills that build resiliency is critical for physical and mental well-being and avoiding burnout as a healthcare professional. Try these methods and see how they can help you prevent burnout and better handle stress!

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