Burnout refers to a state of prolonged tension that affects your physical, emotional, and cognitive well-being. After the coronavirus outbreak, the working environment has drastically changed for optometrists all over the world.
If you find yourself constantly stressed, you may be experiencing signs of an optometrist burnout without realizing it. The good news is that once you identify it, you can immediately adopt measures to overcome it.
Symptoms of Burnout
Do you feel exhausted and irritable despite getting sufficient rest every day? A burnout can take a toll on your mental, physical and emotional health. The symptoms can be broadly categorized into behavioral and physical signs.
1. Behavioral Signs
If you are suffering from burnout, you may feel demotivated at work. You may not feel like coming to work on time or skip it altogether on some days. There is also a tendency to procrastinate due to difficulty in concentrating on tasks.
You may find yourself resorting to unhealthy coping mechanisms, such as consuming alcohol, drugs, or excessive eating. It is common to vent out your frustration to other people, such as coworkers or family members.
2. Physical Signs
A burnout can leave you feeling physically and mentally drained. No matter how many hours of sleep you receive, this tiredness is not likely to go away.
Burnout also drags down your immunity, possibly resulting in frequent illness. You may also experience mild symptoms such as headache, muscle ache, or back pain. Due to stress, you may go through a change in your appetite and sleep routine as well.
Tips to Deal with Optometrist Burnout
The outbreak of the pandemic has slowed down business activity and compelled many professionals to work from home. A global change in lifestyles includes adhering to COVID-19 precautions and limiting human interaction.
The very definition of ‘normal’ has transformed, triggering different emotional and physical responses among optometrists. Here are three simple tips to overcome optometrist burnout during COVID-19.
1. Break the Monotony
Work is probably not the same when you have to practice social distancing and wear a mask all the time. Performing the same tasks each day with added restrictions may get monotonous and boring.
Find ways to make work more interesting by adding variations to your daily routine. Try learning a new skill in optometry to fill the dull gaps in the day with an engaging activity. You can also work on introducing a special service for your clients or adding a new testing procedure to your eye care facility.
Another rewarding idea is to get in touch with the optometry community. Take part in online conferences to get inspired by new ideas or engage in discussions with other optometrists to discuss future developments in the field.
2. Reduce Sources of Stress
Ask yourself what’s bothering you the most. One of the most effective ways to recover from burnout is to reduce stress at the source.
Perhaps, you are perturbed by several roadblocks in the workflow. There may be menial administrative tasks, maintenance issues, and unpaid insurance claims holding you down. Try to get these worries out of the way and focus on aspects more relevant to your optometry practice.
Decrease the administrative load by delegating responsibilities to your staff members. If you work in partnership with another optometrist, hold regular meetings to resolve issues before they multiply.
3. Work Out
Physical exercise may not initially seem like a good idea when you are going through pandemic fatigue, but it can do wonders to improve your mood.
Spare some time for a work out every day and notice a positive change in your physical and emotional well-being. You don’t necessarily have to go to the gym for exercise.
Try simple exercises at your optometry practice during breaks, or take a walk around the block during down time. Engaging in easy exercises is a rewarding way to utilize your time if you are experiencing a plunge in business activity due to the pandemic.
COVID-19 is a global health crisis that has negatively affected economies worldwide. If you find yourself overstressed, you may very well be a victim of an optometrist burnout. Small changes to your daily routine can help you combat pandemic fatigue and boost your health and mood.