Being a physician is stressful; being a physician in 2020 and 2021 during a global pandemic added new meaning to that stress. You’ve had to adapt to unprecedented demands, and in many cases change how you provide patient care. If you can, take advantage of time away from work to reset and - after this past year - you may need it more than ever.
There are many benefits to taking a vacation or getting away from the demands of work, and below are three that should have you planning your next trip and unplugging soon.
The Institute for Applied Positive Research conducted a study which found booking travel can maximize happiness and minimize stress and uncertainty during the COVID-19 pandemic. In the poll, 97% said having a trip planned makes them happier. Planning a trip and having something to which you can look forward also helps boost energy and improve wellness.
Not all travel is safe during this time, but even a road trip or weekend getaway will help you unwind, reset, take your mind off the stress of work and give you something about which to be excited.
Getting away can improve both your physical and mental health. A trip, especially when you unplug from work and other responsibilities, removes daily stress. When you are less stressed, your heart rate decreases and you can breathe more easily, allowing for better overall functioning. Vacations also cause many people to be more active and experience increased exercise and a better mood.
The lessened stress and better mood resulting from a trip helps enhance mental health, allows you to experience new sights and activities, interact with people and reset.
This pandemic has led many physicians to work longer hours and face greater responsibility. When you work day after day, you can start to feel exhausted and drained. Many people have vacation time and never actually use it, but when you have a chance to get away and reset, it allows you to return refreshed and ready to go back to work.
Burnout is an issue for a great deal of physicians, but taking a break and recharging will make you a better provider and help you do more for your patients when you return.