It has been a tough few months for everyone and especially our doctors. Hospitals have been overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients, and death rates are rising. The vaccine is out, but distribution is slower than expected. The national chaotic and disturbing event at the Capitol doesn’t help. The daily safety questions for the family and when the country is expected to open up and get things back to normal makes things even worse. All of these issues surround us, and they are happening at once, stressing us out.
With all these situations, the question is, how do you stay sane? There’s bad news from every corner, and most people are burning out. As a doctor, it is more challenging as we struggle to curb the spread of misinformation and the virus. Below are simple daily habits to help you stay sane, calm, and grounded during these challenging times.
Set Your Intentions
Before you get your daily coffee dose, set your intentions right. Decide what your central theme for the day is and how to focus on it all day long. Setting your focus like this helps you prioritize and puts you on the steering wheel, buckled up and ready to go. With set intentions, you have control over what to do with the day ahead of you. Setting intentions helps you have a “North Star” for the day, ensuring you don’t get stuck mentally.
Find 15-30 minutes for physical activity daily, most preferably outdoors. Exercise is good for our physical, mental, and emotional well-being. If you can find time to do it outdoors in the sun, that is an added advantage. Sunshine supplies your body with vitamin D, which is essential for the immune system. It also helps release serotonin, the hormone responsible for improving your mood and focus. Take a break from work for a simple walk to help you feel reenergized and ultimately help your productivity and mood.
If you are spiritual, pray and give thanks for specific things you are grateful for in life. If you aren’t spiritual, take a moment at the end of each day and reflect on two or three things you are grateful for. Be as specific as possible and list these things down if you can. During the pandemic, be compassionate as well. People are going through a lot to survive, and if you are out there struggling but making, ends meet, be grateful for everything. This helps you shift from the stressed-out and negative mood to a positive perspective that leaves you feeling happier.
Things will get better with time, and all we can do is be positive and patient. We will all get through this, and in the meantime, practice the above tips, and you’ll be okay.