This is a highly stressful season for all of us in the graduate medical education field. You are trying to collect mountains of data and forms from your incoming interns, residents or fellows, making sure all your advancing residents or fellows have completed all the advancing requirements, and assuring that all the completing trainees have completed all the requirements for graduation!
Here are some simple techniques you can incorporate wellness into your work life. These tips will help you remain calm and be able to better focus on the many tasks in your to-do list.
Use calendar reminders. Set pop-up reminders to go outside, check on your posture, or take deep breaths.
Eat or smell citrus. Research has suggested that citrus can help improve alertness, if you aren’t a fan of eating citrus fruits, keep some lemon or orange essential oils handy.
Try the 20-20-20 method. Every 20 minutes, take a 20 second break and look at something 20 feet away. This rule can also be used with walking (walk for 20sec or 20ft), stair climbing (climb 20 stairs), stretching (stretch for 20 seconds), etc…
Get better sleep. The Cleveland Clinic Sleep Disorders Center posts some helpful tips on how to achieve better sleep habits, such as:
Keep consistent go-to-sleep and wake-up times throughout the entire week
Reduce your coffee intake, especially around bedtime
Avoid alcohol for at least 4 hours before bedtime
Keep your bedroom cool, dark and noise-free
Exercise regularly, but not within 3 hours of bedtime
Mediate. Mediation can help calm the mind and body and increase your ability to focus. There are lots of free meditation apps for your phone, and guided meditation videos on YouTube. Even practicing for 5m a day will help you focus better.
Remember to laugh. Laughing has proven health benefits including lowering blood pressure and stress!