Each fall, the leaves turn a brilliant color and then tumble to the ground. It’s their way of saying to the world, “That’s all from me this year! I’m tired.”
Ever wish you could drop off like a leaf and be done with work when Q4 rolls around? You may be experiencing burnout. Merriam Webster defines burnout as: “exhaustion of physical or emotional strength or motivation usually as a result of prolonged stress or frustration.”
In healthcare, burnout is rampant. We’re two and a half years into a pandemic, after all! But it’s not just doctors, nurses and technicians on the frontline who are experiencing burnout. Healthcare executives, administrators and marketers are feeling it too.
We need to rekindle the flame. And it may sound cliché, but fall is a great time to turn over a new leaf.
“Turn over a new leaf” means to reform and begin again. It comes from the idea of turning to a blank page in a book. It’s less daunting than the thought of a new year’s resolution, and it can help cure burnout. Here are a few healthcare burnout tips to restart, recharge and turn to the next page.
Commit to moving more
Take a walk outside and notice what you see. The changing colors of the leaves or other signs of a changing season are beautiful and can remind you how lucky you are to be alive. If you don’t work out, start with 10 minutes of movement that feels fun to you. That could be a jog, a dance workout on YouTube or jumping jacks. Whatever gets your heart pumping has stress-reducing effects.
Drink more or drink less
Drinking more water has countless benefits. It energizes your muscles, helps control your calorie intake, improves your kidney function and more. Treat yourself to a new water bottle or canteen that makes staying hydrated easy. Meanwhile, sugary drinks contain “empty” calories and are one of the biggest factors associated with weight gain.
Exercise your mind
Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body. Getting lost in a good novel or an inspiring non-fiction book can help you escape the stress of your work. Pick up a good book or check out these best sellers to get you started.
Reduce your screen time
For those of us on the administrative side of healthcare, we spend most of our workday looking at a screen. Then, if our mode of relaxation includes Netflix or Instagram, we never give our eyes (and minds!) a break. Incorporate these healthcare burnout tips into your routine to reduce or be creative with the time you spend in front of a screen.
At WriterGirl, we’ve prioritized meditation in the last year. We’ve found great benefits from starting meetings with a grounding meditation. Many of us have also started meditating on our own in the morning. For my own meditation, I love the Hatch alarm clock and the Calm app!
Get familiar with your Enneagram type
The Enneagram is also a tool that we’ve been using lately with our teams at WriterGirl. It’s a personality typing system that helps you understand your core motivations. Knowing who you are, what lights you up and what drains you are key to preventing burnout. Our Enneagram coach Leslie Hershberger has helped us to understand ourselves individually, which allows us to work better together corporately.
For example, I’m a “two” on the Enneagram, which means relationships light me up. My role as COO allows me to weave the tapestry of the different departments. And as a two, I know that I need to allow time to foster relationships.
Start a weekly ritual
It’s easy to get buried in our to-do lists without taking a step back to think. My role as COO is to look out, not down — so it’s crucial that I take a step back! My job is to bring our CEO Christy’s vision to life. That’s why I have a weekly ritual that allows me to do exactly that. Every Friday, I block off my calendar for two hours of deep thinking. I don’t schedule meetings. I don’t read emails. I don’t look at my to-do list. Instead, I read personal or business development books. I take stock of the feedback I’ve gotten from employees about what’s working and what’s not. I consider how we can best use the strengths of individuals on our team. I ideate how WriterGirl can elevate and grow. Sometimes, I even do something creative. Even if you’re not a COO, a weekly deep-thinking ritual can re-center you on what matters.
We’re all used to constant mental stimulation. With all of the items on our to-do lists, notifications on our phones and emails in our inboxes, it’s no wonder that we’re tired! We don’t know how to be bored anymore – and have lost its benefits. The greatest ideas come when you allow mental space for them. How can you create small moments of empty space in your day? Take a walk on your lunch break or set a timer for five minutes to clear your mind and listen to classical music.
Get out and get on the same page with your team
Autumn is the perfect time to plan for the year ahead. At WriterGirl, we have an annual leadership retreat in the fall to strategize together. It’s a breath of fresh air to get out of our home offices, come together in-person and vision cast as a team.
Since many of us are in Cincinnati, we choose a location in another city. We separate ourselves from the distractions, and we turn off our normal work responsibilities. (Yes, we have incredible employees and partners who we can trust to run the business while we are gone!)
This fall, we’re also doing an all-staff fall retreat. When you invest in employees and make space for them to bond, you can ease burnout.
Allow for seasons
Just like trees operate in seasons, so does your productivity. You can’t expect yourself or your team to be in a constant summer season. Humans can’t be productive all the time. Allow yourself an autumn season to let go of the old. Embrace a winter season for quiet and deep thinking. Step into a spring season for new beginnings. And who knows – with the right tools, you might turn over a new leaf and strike a beautiful equilibrium.
Need help with content about healthcare burnout tips?
WriterGirl is here for you! Our team of healthcare content experts can work with you to craft custom healthcare blogs and campaigns that fit your organization’s voice and marketing needs. If you want to learn more, we’d love to talk.
Editor’s note: This post was originally published in September 2016. It was updated on September 14, 2022.