What do you say and ask yourself after you’ve been stressed at work? Working in healthcare can be overwhelming with demands from patients, colleagues, administrators and third party payers. All the stresses can lead to Burnout. Prevention of and recovery from burnout needs to be dealt with on a variety of levels – individual, team, organizational and systemic. Where you focus matters. The questions you ask yourself focus your attention and can help you deal with stress effectively in the future.
Recall a stressful experience you had at work in the last couple of weeks. Allow yourself remember and re-experience this as if you were present in the situation.
Get curious and ask yourself some questions. The questions below are helpful for dealing with stress on the individual level.
- What were you feeling in your body and what was coming up in your mind?
- What was your experience stress? What distinguished this so that you were aware of it as stress? Where did you sense it in your body?
- What did you do to handle the stress? What did you do physically, cognitively and emotionally? What Strengths helped you get through? Perhaps you used intentional slow deep breathing, refocused your attention on the knowledge you could draw on, or provided kind and calm self-talk.
- Who helped you get through the stressful time? And what did they do that was helpful?
- What is the impact of this experience on your ability to better handle work stress going forward?
Carol Dweck the author of Mindset, discusses the benefits of a Growth Mindset and using challenges and failures as springboards for learning, building resilience and generally improving our lives. You can do this by asking yourself questions such as, what am I learning? Or what about this situation can I use to help me and others in the future? By asking these and the questions above you can learn what works for you.
Benefits of the right questions
- Identify when stress is rising so that you can intervene early before the fight, flight, freeze gets engaged
- Use specific techniques that have been helpful to you in the past
- Know who to turn to when you need help from a colleague. At times, you may even have a sense of what the response will be, without that person having to be approached, and can offer yourself some worthwhile self-talk.
- Remember the benefits from some of the hard lessons you had to learn in the past and that there is always more learning.
- Develop a short list of specific techniques, strengths or strategies that you can draw on at times of need.
To avoid burnout, and develop ways you can deal with stress in your life and move toward well-being, contact me.
Improving well-being for healthcare professionals through coaching.
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