A 2021 Medscape survey found 70% of physicians feel burned out, with 10% considering leaving the profession altogether. This inquiry predated the Omicron surge, which has likely worsened burnout and compassion fatigue. These findings emphasize the need for self-care approaches that are evidence-based and doable despite a lack of free time and energy reserves among doctors. Such as:
- Coherent breathing: Six full belly breaths, inhaling through nose, exhaling longer through mouth. Takes one minute. Reboots awareness, offloads emotional residue, induces relaxation. Do frequently. To download a more detailed coherent breathing guide, go to: Coherent Breathing
- Nature hit: Just five minutes in nature reduces stress, slows time perception, and renews the spirit.
- Gratitude journaling: Three times a week, in the morning, write one thing you are grateful for in your life. That night, record one thing from the day for which you are thankful. This creates a positive cognitive bias that combats burnout and compassion fatigue. The effect is rapid, palpable, and durable.
- Kindness: Supporting colleagues also supports you. Shared empathy heals.
- Exercise: The quintessential antidepressant and anxiolytic. Cardio and yoga are preferred for their mental health benefits.