It takes time to recover and decompress. Everyone is different. Some say that it can take at least 6 months, and some 1-3 years before you feel 100% better. The earlier you recognise the problem and seek professional help, the more likely you are to have a faster recovery.
My recovery has taken a few months. I scoured the internet for information to make sense of everything. I found some great resources which are listed at the end of this page, but for me to move forwards, I needed resources that were particularly relevant to doctors or that inspired me.
Four resources stand out in particular. They inspired me to do what I am doing now.
- Steve Jobs address to Stanford university in 2005. He talks about 3 things being important in life
- Connectivity which you see in retrospect. Following the things that interest you. This totally resonated with every fibre of me.
- Living every day as your last. This concept blew me away – I would never be doing this job if it was my last day, my last month, or my last year. I clearly needed to make some changes!
- The Dr paradox podcasts – a series of interviews with doctors or allied professionals exploring ” why despite having incredibly meaningful jobs, doctors are increasingly unhappy in their work.” These interviews go back to medical school and the struggles that many of these inspiring people had along their journey and how they have overcome them through adjusting their paths and rediscovering their passions.
- Margaret Hannah’s book “Humanising healthcare – Patterns of hope for systems under strain“. I just found this immensely inspiring. It highlights everything that I felt was wrong with our current healthcare system, yet provides hope for the future.
Some tips that helped me are:
Be kind and compassionate to yourself and allow yourself time to heal
Rest – your body needs time to recover
Engage in activities that make you feel better like walking the dogs or going out for coffee with a friend.
Reach out & talk to people. Admitting that there is a problem to others and releasing that burden and weight is one of the first steps on the road to recovering. You’ll often be surprised – you may find your friends and even your family have their own similar stories. Sharing these stories can be very powerful. I certainly found this.
Don’t make any immediate rash decisions. Consider taking some time off work to get better and reconsider your options carefully.
Other resources that I found helpful are: .
Helpguide.org – preventing and recovering from burnout. They have lots of resources on mental health
Mindtools – recovering from burnout. Some useful strategies. A great site in general for building strategies to manage better
The road to resilience – the American Psychological Association