Avoiding Burnout in the Healthcare Field During the Pandemic

Josh Schechtel offers some insights for healthcare workers to avoid burnout, especially during a pandemic.

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The COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly put a strain on many healthcare workers. While many Americans had to adjust to working remotely or earning unemployment checks, healthcare heroes have been on the frontlines dealing with covid patients, overcrowded hospital beds and telling patients’ families their loved ones passed away. Carrying these burdens while also trying to keep their own loved ones safe and healthy has been too heavy of a weight for many. However, the need for healthcare workers has never been greater. While the pandemic has currently made this industry an overwhelming line of work to be a part of, there are also many tangible ways to avoid burnout in the healthcare industry. 

Find Non-Work Outlets

One proven way to release stress caused by work and the pandemic is to distract oneself with a hobby. It is critical that healthcare professionals fuel their passions outside of work. Otherwise, they could find themselves in an unhealthy cycle of going to work and coming home to isolation. Even though it may not be practical to unwind with a large group of friends in the present circumstances, it would be a great idea to use the time away from work to indulge in a passion. Whether it is painting, having a picnic by the beach, or even an activity like axe throwing, it is important to have refreshing non-work hobbies. 

Online Therapy

It is important to note that burnout in the healthcare industry sometimes requires more than just distraction. While it is great to take one’s mind off the pandemic’s exhausting circumstances, those who are feeling extreme burnout should consider online therapy. This is a great way to discuss the mental exhaustion that one may be facing and gives an outlet for individuals to unwind. Often, talking about the trauma the pandemic has caused ends up relieving many healthcare workers’ stress, and better equips them to deal with the ongoing conditions.

Unplug from Covid-Focused Media

After working with covid patients and being surrounded by the realness of the situation all day, healthcare workers often become fatigued when their free time is congested with even more covid-related information. Rather than getting sucked into the covid clickbait and keeping updated with the latest case numbers on the news, try to unplug from covid-related media when not at work. After spending all day experiencing the headlines firsthand, the last thing healthcare workers need is to fill their minds with even more worries. Escape this temptation by spending time in nature or trying out a new recipe.

Live a Healthy Lifestyle

Though healthcare workers have a commitment to care for others’ lives and wellbeing, they also owe it to themselves to live a healthy lifestyle. Rather than letting their personal health fall off the deep end, they should use this time to be especially mindful of their health. Healthcare workers should be exercising throughout the week, maintaining a healthy diet and getting a sufficient amount of sleep, as these factors are proven to significantly impact mental health. This is a remarkable way to avoid burnout in the healthcare field.

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