Work burnout is a rising issue in the medical field that needs more awareness and resources. Working in the field of medicine is no easy task. The stress you are put through and the working environment can significantly affect your mental, physical, and emotional health. Let’s talk about the risks of burnout as a woman in medicine and how to prevent it.
Women in medicine risk burnout
Research has found that women are more likely to experience work burnout than men due to a multitude of factors, such as:
- Pay gaps
- Absence of role models
- Poor working conditions
- Unavailability of leave
- Fear of repercussion for pointing out any of these factors
5 ways to prevent burnout as a woman in medicine
Before it’s too late and you have to look into how to recover from work burnout, try these individual practices you can implement daily.
1. Advocate for and utilize your resources
Many women experience work burnout, and there are resources to help. Whether you need parental leave or to seek help for your mental health, your work should be able to point you in the right direction so you can find what you need and feel more confident in your work and yourself.
Utilizing these resources helps them stay open and available for others to use. Going the extra step and advocating for more awareness about these types of resources can even help someone in the future who may fall into your shoes.
2. Set boundaries
Setting boundaries is one of the most crucial parts of preventing work burnout. Without the proper boundaries, it can often lead to overworking and a lack of work-life balance. Making sure you have set times when you are working and when you’re relaxing is all a part of the process.
Something as simple as unplugging for a few hours every day or going on a yearly vacation, no matter how big or small, can help you become more productive in your everyday work life and improve your overall health. Only you know what is best for yourself and what type of boundaries are needed for you to succeed.
3. Take time to recharge
With boundaries set, you know what time you do and don’t have to yourself. Use that time to recharge after long days at work. Listen to your body and be honest about what you need to be fully refreshed and ready to go back to work when needed.
Discovering a new hobby, exercising, or reading are all small and simple things that you can do to recharge and take time for yourself. Learning how to fit whatever you choose into your everyday routine or even building a routine can help create a work-life balance and decrease the risk of work burnout.
4. Look for leadership opportunities
According to Mayo Clinic research, leadership is associated with a lower risk of burnout and higher work satisfaction. Looking within your work for different opportunities such as leadership roles can change your everyday routine and make it more enjoyable. At the same time, you learn new things and improve your well-being.
No matter how big or small of a role, it can add a sense of purpose and responsibility that you may lack from your current position. A leadership role also adds qualities to your skill sets as you are a role model to others and someone people seek help from.
5. Create a supportive community
Knowing you have others to lean on can be a fantastic feeling. Creating a group of women who are going through the same or similar things to you can help with a multitude of things such as stress relief, loneliness, or the whole point of this: work burnout.
Even if you don’t talk about work-related things, knowing you have a group of people you can meet with outside of work to go to lunch or dinner with can make all the difference.
The bottom line
Women in the medical field deal with more high-stress situations with little time to recover. You don’t have to overwork yourself to succeed. Success looks different for everyone, and maybe it means not burning out for you.
Taking a step back and learning how to prevent burnout before it’s too late will boost your productivity and overall health. Whether trying to improve your mental, physical, or emotional health, you should be rewarded for living healthy.
Burnout as a woman in recovery infographic
On The Road to Burnout Recovery Infographic By Ness Well