Just like an elite athlete, giving your best performance means maintaining a healthy body and mind.  Not so easily achieved with the stressors of the modern workplace.  It seems we are all trying to do more with less and in double quick time, while at the same time trying to keep everyone happy and meet seemingly growing expectations.

The pressure this generates can very easily get on top of you and reach the point of being overwhelming, adversely impacting job performance and mental health.  This is not a sign of ‘weakness’, nor is it uncommon.  It is a part of life for you and for the population at large.

What is important is how we deal with it, being prepared and having strategies in place to recognise and manage it before it becomes problematic.  This isn’t a time to check-out and try to deal with it on your own.  What you need is a plan and then work the plan.

Here are some things to consider for your plan:

A problem shared is a problem halved
Debriefing in the workplace and sharing your feelings with colleagues can validate and normalise emotional responses to tough situations for both you and other team members.  Ensure you have empathetic colleagues, or friends outside of work, who will listen to you and support you without judgment.

Remain ‘in touch’ with your emotions
While it may be important to be strong in the moment, it is also important to find space to connect with sadness and cry.  Crying is a healthy way of processing grief.  It provides grounding and helps build resilience and coping.

Switch off and have fun
Exercise, a hobby or joining a club can help you engage with life, meet other people and help you switch off from the events of your day.  Ensuring you plan regular holidays and breaks away from work can keep you refreshed and help maintain your perspective.

Involve a professional
Perhaps the most important part of your plan is to ensure you have a doctor to help you manage your health.  Having a doctor of your own is vital and is someone who can be objective, refer you to other professionals as appropriate, and who can listen and understand you.

If you don’t have your own doctor, contacting your nearest Doctors’ Health Service is an excellent starting point as they can direct you to a GP that specialises in caring for other doctors.

MIGA also offers a Doctors’ Health Assessment that can be downloaded from our website.  It consists of a Pre-consultation Medical History Questionnaire for you to complete and Examination Guidelines, to help both you and your doctor get the most out of your health check-up.  We also offer an online ‘Doctors’ Health’ module and  ‘Caring for our colleagues’ Workshop as part of our Risk Education.

Ways the MIGA Risk Management Program can help you look after yourself

Activity Complete via MIGA
Doctors’ Health Assessment
Doctors’ Health online module (REO)
‘Caring for our colleagues’  Workshop

Maintaining peak performance can be challenging.  Being open to help, ensuring you have support available and adopting strategies to help maintain your perspective can go a long way towards keeping you swimming between the flags.

If this article raises issues for you and you need help, please contact your local Doctors’ Health Service.  They can provide you with advice, access to clinical services, resources and support.

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