Holiday season. A relaxing and fun time. Right?

Not always.

Pharmacists know all too well that the job doesn’t stop during the holidays, in fact it can even become more hectic. In this type of profession, it’s common to put the needs of your patients before your own. But how can you properly care for your patients if you are not operating at your best?

According to a study done by the American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy, more than half of pharmacists experience indicators for a high degree of burnout.

Burnout is a serious concern where someone becomes too overworked and stressed, resulting in feelings of intense mental and physical exhaustion.

This is why it is important to recognize the symptoms early and take action to reverse them, before it takes a significant toll on one’s health and lifestyle.

In the world of independent pharmacy, there is constant pressure to perform more efficiently and work harder to be more competitive.

There are days where you may feel no appreciation for your efforts and find it hard to stay motivated. It is important to take a moment to remember your intrinsic “why” – why you got into pharmacy in the first place and why you have a passion for this field. Looking at the bigger picture will remind you of the true value of your work.

This holiday season, take steps to improve your own mental health and reduce the symptoms of burnout. Here are some ways to help build a healthier working lifestyle –

Be in a positive, supportive environment

Do your part to spread positivity and encourage your coworkers, and you’ll receive it back! If you are in a leadership position, think of implementing more team bonding and creating a welcoming space to work in.

Get recognized for accomplishments and receive constructive feedback

This isn’t necessarily something that you can implement yourself, but those in leadership positions should work to provide regular feedback and increase employee recognition. Being appreciated for your work can boost attitude and motivation.

58% of professionals say being recognized at work is the best way to increase engagement.

Eat nutritious food and make time for self-care

Though it sometimes may feel that there is no time to spend on the luxuries of self-care, this should be considered more of a priority and a regular part of your schedule. Being conscious of how you fuel your body and finding time (even if it’s not much!) to relax is extremely important for mental health.

Find time to do things that bring you joy

It’s easy to get stuck in a routine, and this can lead to low energy and low motivation. Make an extra effort to think of some things that make you happy and find time to treat yourself. It will break up a repetitive schedule and give you something new to look forward to.

Be able to recognize changes in yourself

Sometimes it seems like burnout is just another aspect of having a high-stress job, but it should not be that way. Learn to sense changes in your overall mood and motivation so you can proactively make adjustments to your lifestyle and prevent burnout.

Burnout is a real condition that can affect your ability to lead a healthy, functional lifestyle. As a pharmacist, you want to take care of your patients – but first you have to take care of yourself! Start with a small step today and do something nice for yourself.  You deserve it.

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