Pharmacists have demanding work environments. Many on their feet for 10 to 12 hours a day. Those hours are hard on the body and leave little time and energy to rest.
People tend to assert self-care as a cure-all for exhaustion. Defined as “any activity we do deliberately to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health,” self-care activities vary in depth and range.
Your self-care can be reading a book or a day at the spa. Honestly, it’s really up to what you need. And while yes, you do need to take care of yourself – because that’s how you maintain a wealthy state of mind working upwards of 14 hours a day –
Those surface indulgences are not going to solve the issue.
Popular self-care is a bottle of wine and a bubble bath.
Real self-care is a reality check.
Self-Care is Fleeting.
Treating yourself well is essential, but so is being real with yourself. Working more hours than you can take, and being miserable requires more than fine wine and jasmine-scented bubbles.
Self-care soothes but is not a solution. It makes you feel better temporarily. However, your burnout cycle will repeat itself until you eliminate the root cause of your issue, which is the negative overlap in terms of what you’re doing with your time and energy and where your values lie.
Living a burned-out lifestyle has negative emotional, physical, and relational impact. Burnout emotionally isolates you from others, including your spouse and children.
- Agitated by simple requests from your spouse or children
- Irritated that you work so many hours and can’t find another job
- Looking forward to days off so that you can hide under the covers
- Overwhelmed by other peoples’ problems – they seem too big for you
- Distant from your friends, loved ones, and others in general – and cynical
Then you need more than a new pair of shoes, a weekend trip, or another Wednesday night bubble bath while you binge-watch Working Moms.
You’re showing severe signs of burnout, and here’s a chance to turn things around now before they get worse.
You cannot afford to stay in a job you hate. You cannot afford to live a life where you’re never happy and always burned out. You cannot afford to live a life drowning in guilt because you don’t have enough time and energy for your spouse and children.
You cannot afford to “self-care” your way through this anymore. To grow towards freedom, you must step outside your comfort zone. Now is the time to change.
Here’s The Best Self-Care You’ll Ever Get
Burnout comes from having too many competing priorities that contradict each other. On the one hand, you have to work and make money, yet on the other, you’re not spending time with your family. Ultimately, you’re the one who suffers the most.
Many Happy PharmD clients are career pharmacists. They’re also working parents who feel incredibly split between taking care of their children and pharmacy. They want to be great mothers, partners, and achievers – and they already are – but their perfectionism gets in the way.
When this happens, you need to set very clear expectations. Don’t let perfectionism distract you by pinpointing all the things you do wrong.
Your husband or partner is likely very supportive of you, as are your children. Your family loves you, needs you and doesn’t expect as much out of you as you’re probably demanding of yourself.
As pharmacists, we tend to be hard on ourselves. I learned, through getting to know hundreds of pharmacists, it is common for us to expect so much of ourselves that we fail our own beliefs of who we are more than those we love to realize.
Get very clear about what kind of mom you are and how you can best show up as a wife, partner, and mother.
Life is a constant journey that requires continuous self-assessment. Many roads lead to the center. Your job is to determine which one is yours. You have to look at where you’re at, and then compare it to where you’re going. Once you’ve done that, then you get to make strategic adjustments to remain on course.
What boundaries will you create in your life to build healthy relationships?
What expectations does your partner have? What expectations have you set for your children? What expectations are in place for your work schedule, gym schedule, and other needs? What expectations have you set for yourself and others around you?
Self-care can soothe you, especially if you’re exhausted. But in most cases, it’s no more than a supplement. It’s paramount that you attempt to fix your core problem, which is burnout. Otherwise, self-care is nothing more than a Band-Aid over a triggering issue. It will threaten to detonate at some point.
Prolonged exhaustion requires evaluating all of the triggers causing it, from work to mental health conditions. If you set clear expectations and the fatigue doesn’t leave, you’re probably not aligned with where you value your time and energy.
Do not compare your life and career to anyone else. This is your journey.
This isn’t about comparing yourself to someone else, even other pharmacist moms you know. Everyone’s needs are distinct. You can only compare yourself against your situation, discover what’s taking its toll on you, and fix the issue.
If you believe work is your trigger, and you’re sick and tired of feeling exhausted and overwhelmed, then I encourage you to check out this class. This class helped over 500 pharmacists transition to a new career – and yes, even in this crowded job market.
I know, I know…
Career development is the last thing a burned-out pharmacist wants to do after a long day. However, if you’re tired of feeling like work is a means to an end and dreaming for something better, this is for you.
Take Control of Your Pharmacy Career
With so many changes in the pharmacy industry, it’s easy to get burned out. Between long hours, changes in employment, and career outlook, the pharmacy job crisis is here. Are you prepared to win against all the odds?
Join our Career Masterclass. It’s 100% free, and it’s our strategy to escape burnout, receive regular job offers all the time, and take control of your pharmacy career. Sign up here.
Alex is the Founder of The Happy PharmD. He loves anime, his family, and video games, but not in that order.