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Physician heal thyself!
This saying came about because physicians are notoriously bad about taking care of their own well being.
Sure it is easy to tell patients what to do, such as eating healthy and getting regular exercise, but how often do we follow the same advice?
One aspect of well-being that is often overlooked as physicians is our mental health.
Too often we subject ourselves to the daily rigors of practicing medicine and not take the precautionary steps to maintain our sanity, evident by the increasing incidence of burnout that is plaguing our profession.
The following is a guest post I received from Umer Ishfaq on the importance of mental health and how to prevent medicine from eroding it away.
Although mental health is just as essential for our well-being as physical health, it often gets ignored..
Our daily routine, our eating habits, and the way we spend our leisure time are what contribute most to our mental health.
Making the right choices and maintaining a high quality of life allows us to preserve our mental health.
Monitoring your behavior, moods, emotions and how you react to situations around you can give a glimpse into your mental health state.
Ideally, you want to make lifestyle changes early on to improve your mental health before it gets to a point where the only option is to seek medical intervention and add treatment.
Unfortunately there is not a pill that can magically restore your mental health.
Even with treatment you must make some changes in your lifestyle and let go of the toxic habits that are affecting your mental health.
Here are some common mistakes that people make that are not good for your mental well-being:
Overlooking Mood Shifts and Overwhelming Emotions:
If you are constantly feeling stressed, having instant mood shifts and overwhelming emotions, your mental health is in dire need of attention.
Stress is the root cause of many mental diseases.
Being in constant emotional distress can cause burnout which results in fatigue.
Burnout induces feelings of hopelessness and despair in you.
You gradually lose interest in your work or studies and thus isolate yourself from your surroundings, which results in a further decline of both mental and physical health.
It truly is a vicious cycle.
It is therefore important to never ignore any sort of emotional or behavioral change.
These changes might be the first sign of your mental health decline and, if addressed in a timely fashion, can save you from further complications.
People having stress or anxiety tends to isolate themselves from the people they love and other social interactions because of the emotions of hopelessness, unhappiness, and distress.
The above emotions are major symptoms associated with common mental health-related issues.
A great way to counter this is to become engaged in a productive activity at least once a day, which will allow you to meet people and have some form of social interaction on a daily basis.
Going to the gym, for example, allows you to maintain both your physical and mental health.
You can meet people, workout and spend your time productively.
However, do not neglect your mental health and seek professional help as soon as you can if this measure still does not have the desired effect.
Sleep deprivation is one of the leading causing of a decline in both physical and mental health.
You must never compromise your sleep quality.
Having a sound sleep is what keeps you going through your daily routine and helps you relax.
Lack of sleep can cause memory loss as well as other physical ailments.
If you find yourself sleep deprived, you should consult your doctor and get medication to overcome it.
Good sleep helps you heal in a better way.
[My sleep improved tremendously with the purchase of my Sleep Number bed which I highly recommend.]
Overuse of Gadgets:
It is not a coincidence that depression and anxiety have become more prevalent with the rise of the smartphone.
Excess of use of the smartphone is becoming a major cause of both physical and mental health-related issues.
Symptoms such as headaches or neck sprains can arise from smartphone use, especially when smartphone use results in improper posture.
Prolonged smartphone use results in physical fatigue and eyestrain and cause you to lose your focus on more important things.
The very common bad habit of using a smartphone in bed right before sleep has also been shown to impact sleep patterns, with the blue light from the device wreaking havoc on the normal sleep-wake cycle.
Another negative impact of the digital age on mental health is the psychological impacts of social media.
“Comparison is the thief of joy.” – Theodore Roosevelt.
It is easy to think of yourself as a failure when all you see is evidence of others proudly displaying their achievements on social media.
It is important to realize that what you see on social media is heavily curated and biased towards the positive.
No one typically posts failures on their social media outlets.
Social media is in essence a highlight reel of how others want you to perceive them.
The actual reality may be quite a stark contrast from what is portrayed.
Another negative thing that social media can amplify is the feeling of isolation.
Being immersed in a virtual world can make a person lose connection with his or her surroundings.
The real world, and the physical support system that comes with it, gives way to a far less supportive virtual one.
Avoiding these basic mistakes can help you regain your mental health.
In the beginning, mood swings or stress might not feel like a major issue, but if left unchecked can result in some fatal conditions.
It is important to realize that you are not alone in this.
Others may have undergone, or are currently going through, similar situations and connecting with these individuals can allow you to tap into an amazing support system.
Do not stress out on every single hurdle you come across and stop holding onto the ones that are burdening you emotionally.
Restrict your virtual presence and start living in the real world that is filled with love and happiness.
Author Bio: Umer Ishfaq is an experienced writer. He began his writing career with Techvando. Although he enjoys writing about a variety of topics, health care is his passion. He enjoys educating people and readers on how to live a healthier and happier life.
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