Tips to assist change in General Practice
“THE ONLY CONSTANT IN LIFE IS CHANGE “ Heraclitus, a Greek philosopher.
As the season changes to the chill of winter, it brings with it other changes; a new semester with new topics to study, new professors to get used to, and for many a change in placement positions and so new faces including Practices Managers, Supervisors and with new approaches to the everyday schedule.
These changes can be stressful, however if we can identify these stressors, we can manage them to minimise any negative impacts on our well-being.
Some tips that could assist in times of change in General Practice;
- Seek joy in your relationship with your patients by sharing their achievements stories of courage and wisdom and pride in their children and grandchildren.
- Discover the meaning in your work and understand what a difference you make to your patients.
- Achieve work life balance – make your home a sanctuary through strong relationships with your family and friends. Practice meditation, mindfulness, relaxation techniques, music or writing therapy. Take time each day to switch off, find some solitude time each day just for you. Practice slow breathing when you are idle, when you are waiting in a line or sitting in traffic.
- Develop interests away from work, socialise with people who support and care for you. Seek peer support and mentoring and debrief regularly.
- Prepare for the next day the evening before, consider shopping online to save time and be proactive about the meetings you attend and reading emails.
- Break unhelpful habits – be constructive in your self-talk, accept your human limitations, take time to regain your sense of humour, stop trying to please everyone, recognise you own self-worth, try to focus on the positives, slow down and simplify your life and don’t worry about the ‘what ifs’ and ‘if only’. Deal with problems when they arise rather than worrying about what might be.
- Redefine the stress by utilising a positive narrative.
Every Doctor healthier doctors – healthier patients. Rowe & Kidd 2018.
Activities to assist in Stress Management
- Identify the source of stress, then try to minimize this as much as possible. Create a balanced work schedule.
- Talk to a trusted friend or family member and seek their support.
- Try deep breathing, sit comfortably and breathe in through the nose for a count of four then hold for a count of four and then out for a count of four.
- Take some time to reward yourself with something (i.e. a massage, new book, time to self).
- Journal what is creating your stress. Check your reality by asking is it true. Keep a journal and update how you overcame the stress. Did it happen the way you thought it would? Could your levels of stress have exacerbated your worry?
- Practice mindfulness, meditation or relaxation techniques.
- Consider your own expectations of yourself. Are you judging yourself too harshly. Be your own kind, caring best friend.
- Plan some form of exercise (i.e. a walk with a friend, yoga).
- Speak to your General Practitioner or mental health professional
- Sleep on it. Sometimes your brain will process your thinking and come up with solutions, you just need to give it time.
The above is an exert from the Building Resilience at Work, Sustaining Practice program developed by GPEx and now being delivered to our stakeholders as part of their training.
If you are interested in this training for your workplace, please get in touch;
Ronda Bain – Manager Special Projects