Focus on what matters

A person working in the automobile industry said recently that people were getting more hostile. He observed that before the COVID response he rarely saw signs saying, “abuse will not be tolerated”. It went without saying and, by the way, was not common.

Today, many businesses display such signs prominently. Medical practices and hospitals are not immune and this adds to the already considerable pressure we face. In turn, burnout is an increasing problem with a Mental Health Australia survey showing that in 2022, 84% of respondents said working in healthcare during the pandemic increased the amount of stress and pressure in the workplace.

Dr Joe Kosterich, Clinical Editor

The pandemic and response are over but the hangover remains. Stress levels are not helped by a shoot first and ask questions later regulator, a heavy handed bureaucracy more interested in boxes being ticked than patients being treated, and a public that increasingly expects miracles to be performed in real time. And our internal culture also isn’t always helpful!

But in life there is no future in blaming others if you want improvement. As individuals we need to focus on what we can do to prevent burnout and manage stress. 

With Christmas approaching, many will take leave. The world will continue to turn without any of us. We can all do the best we can but nobody is indispensable and we need to remind ourselves of that. We also can reflect on whether issues that arise are blips or catastrophes. The vast majority are the former, even though we may react as if they were the latter.

The world will continue to turn without any of us. We can all do the best we can, but nobody is indispensable, and we need to remind ourselves of that.

Take time to reflect on what is really important. Typically, on gravestones it describes a person in relation to their family, it is rare to see the day job listed. Thus make time with family and friends a priority and be present. This includes getting off devices – and yes, we are no better than the rest of society.

Get out into nature, whether it is a park, the beach or the bush. This has been shown to be good for mental health. Maybe reflect on how you want to best invest your time next year and what you are no longer prepared to tolerate. Catch up on sleep. Do anything which is fun.

A January edition will appear for the first time next month so keep a look out.

I would like to thank readers and contributors for their support in 2023. Best wishes for Christmas and 2024 to all.