Many of us feel like we’re on a treadmill, constantly running to keep up with our responsibilities at home and work. The past 28 months have been especially stressful, dealing with the impact of COVID in our personal and work lives. At work, we are faced with staffing, burnout and resiliency issues as we watch many of our colleagues retiring or leaving the profession all together. At home, we are dealing with changes in the economy that place an additional stress on affording basic needs. It’s time for a time-out!
When my children were young, I used time-out to redirect behaviors and give them time to reflect on what they were doing and think how they could do things differently. It did work for them; they grew up to be successful, independent women. I don’t know about you but, I think many of us could use a timeout right about now to give us the opportunity to relax, think about our life choices and behaviors, and change them for the better. Many of us could use an extended timeout, perhaps a vacation to clear our minds, remember what’s truly important in our lives and do things we enjoy with those we care about.
So often I see my colleagues putting off their vacations or being unable to take a day off because of stresses at work. We need to remember work will be there another day, but we may not be if we keep going at a breakneck pace. I’ve never heard at anyone’s funeral that they should have worked more or spent more time away from their loved ones. We all know it makes sense; we tell our patients to find work/life balance, yet we struggle to do it ourselves.
It’s time to take a timeout! Let’s start investing in our own wellbeing so we can be there for our loved ones and our patients. Being well rested and recharged gives you energy to be your best at home and at work. So, take that vacation and don’t feel guilty about it. Just say no to coming into work on your day off. Do the things you love to do with those who mean the most to you.
Take a timeout daily to reflect on what went well, how you could handle things differently that didn’t go as planned and identify what you can cast off because it’s toxic. It’s time to invest in ourselves and find our balance. We need to discover what feeds our body, mind, and soul and leads us to discover the joy in who we are and what we do.