There have been a number of articles published recently about stress in the workplace and what steps can be taken to counteract this. It is the nature of our profession that we find ourselves always looking after the wellbeing of others, often at the expense of our own health. A pharmacist might go to work even though they are feeling under the weather because they are afraid they can’t get a locum at such short notice or they just figure they may as well do it themselves and save the cost. But what is the real cost here? To better serve your customers it is important that you maintain good physical and mental health. Pharmacy can be a very stressful profession, so what can you put in place to keep yourself on the straight and narrow?
Here are a few things I’ve picked up over the years:
1. Don’t skip meals:
We are forever telling customers that skipping meals can increase your risk of obesity, hypertension and even insulin resistance. Make sure you grab some breakfast before leaving for work or get one of the staff to pick you up something nutritious after you arrive. Your thought processes will be much clearer with some sustenance. Lunch is often on the run so make sure you don’t opt for unhealthy choices just because they are easily accessible.
We all know that exercise helps both our physical and mental well-being. “I don’t have time to exercise”; “I’m always at work or else too tired to do anything” are common refrains. You don’t have to sign up for a marathon to get some exercise! Just think about what you enjoy and try to incorporate it into your daily routine. Try parking further away from the pharmacy and walking there and back.
3. Make Time
Do you have any hobbies? Can you fit in a game of golf before or after work? Turn off work and go see a movie. What do you enjoy doing? Make time. These activities will keep your mental health stable.
4. Personal Hygiene
You may think this one is more for the women when I say take time out to lie in a bubble bath or have a manicure. There’s no reason the men can’t pamper themselves too. I sometimes hear feedback from pharmacies saying that a locum had BO or did not turn up with a clean white jacket and polished shoes. Taking time out to do these things will make you feel better as well as boosting your confidence. The staff will want you back working there too.
I myself sometimes struggle to get a solid night’s sleep so know how frustrating this can be and the impact it can have on the rest of our lives. Sleep however does remain the most important part of our day. Without it we can become the pharmacist that nobody wants to talk to, let alone take advice from. Avoid working on your figures before bed, don’t have that extra coffee and above all turn off your phone and tablet.
Taking care of yourself means that you are in a better place to take care of your customers. What changes are you prepared to make to ensure this?