5 Tips To Maintaining a Healthy Mental Balance for Physician Leaders

Mar 28, 2020

Leaders, it's important for you to maintain a healthy mental attitude as you lead. If you are in a leadership role, you can become easily stressed if you are not adequately balancing all of your responsibilities. The daily workload can be overwhelming and in order to maintain the level of attentiveness and productivity you need as a leader, you must make sure that you're taking care of yourself. One of the ways you accomplish this is by making sure that you have a healthy mental balance.

Here are five tips you can start to incorporate into your day-to-day routine:

  1.  Make sure that you're getting an adequate amount of sleep. Sleep is very important for you to be able to put in the work that you do every day. It helps with mental sharpness. It helps you to be able to engage. It also helps us to ward off chronic diseases like obesity and high blood pressure. So getting an adequate amount of sleep is really, really important. So how many hours of sleep should you be getting a night? For adults, it's recommended that you get between seven to nine hours of sleep each night. Make an effort to stick to a sleep schedule that is consistent, going to bed and waking up at approximately the same time every night and day. (For iPhone users, a great tool for this is the Bedtime tab in the clock app which lets you set a schedule). To get a good night’s rest, you also want to make sure that your environment is conducive to sleeping. The temperature should be just right; not too hot, not too cold. Minimize distractions in the room such as bright lights from computers, cell phones, or TVs. Also, make sure to avoid taking work into the bedroom—the bedroom should only be designated for relaxing and sleeping.
  2. Get enough exercise. Exercise is important to maintaining your energy, maintaining mental focus, and decreasing stress. It is recommended that you exercise for 30 minutes a day, five days a week—that equals 150 minutes a week. This could be 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes in the evening. It could be an hour a day, three times a week. However you decide to get in that 150 minutes a week, really try to make time for adequate exercise. Pencil it into your schedule, make exercise a priority, make it a part of your routine. Figure out what works best for you, find whatever breakdown of time that is going to allow you to be consistent.
  3. Get adequate nutrition.  Making sure that you are getting the right amount of fruits, vegetables, grains, and lean meats into your diet as well as avoiding or limiting fats, starches, and sugars is important. Getting an adequate amount of water each day as well. Nutrition is important not just for your energy but also for longevity and improving your overall health.
  4. Practice gratitude and mindfulness. Find time outside of the office to reflect on all of the things that are positive in your life, all that you have to be grateful for, and on existing in the present moment. This practice helps you to recharge. It helps you to get off the hamster wheel of life and decreases your risk of burnout. Practicing gratitude and mindfulness gives you a chance to slow things down so that you can truly appreciate how you're feeling and what's going on in your life.
  5. Spend time outdoors. Break the cycle of being in the office all day, or if you work from home, being in front of the computer all day. Just take 15 to 30 minutes to go outdoors, enjoy nature, and enjoy the sun. Get some natural vitamin D from the sun. Getting outdoors can give your mental health a boost.

In summary, to maintain a healthy mental balance: get an adequate amount of sleep with good sleep hygiene tips, exercise 30 minutes a day or 150 minutes a week, incorporate a healthy diet by making small changes one step at a time, practice gratitude daily by writing in a journal or by just reciting 5 things you’re grateful for upon awakening, and make time to get outdoors and enjoy the sunshine and fresh air.

If you are looking to transition into a leadership role, download my free audio guide The 5 Powerful Mindset Shifts for Leadership Success.

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