The Emergency Department can be a stressful environment. How we manage the rollercoaster of emotions will dictate both the enjoyment and longevity we bring to our career. Being fully present, maintaining an optimistic outlook, and nurturing satisfying relationships with colleagues, friends and family is key to optimising our wellness.
Three take-home messages:
- It is a no-brainer that working in Emergency Medicine gives us an emotional work-out. We experience extremes from despair to elation; frustration to gratification; self-doubt to validation; tragedy to joy – sometimes within the first hour on shift!
- It is important to identify what sustains our emotional reserves, and to actively work to replenish our emotional tank, personally and professionally. When times get busy and stressful, we tend to negotiate out that which energises us, leaving in only that which wears us down – we need to make a concerted effort to not allow our lives to slip into the exhaustion funnel.
- There is no one-size-fits-all approach (no magic bullet or recipe) to Emotional Wellness – invest time and energy into finding out what sits most comfortably with you, and what works most effectively eg self-compassion, mindfulness, strong support network. It is likely that you will discover not one, but a combination of activities to put into your toolbox.