American College Of Surgeons - Inspiring Quality: Highest Standards, Better Outcomes


Folding Well-Being Practices into Your Lifestyle

Integrating well-being into daily life takes time and commitment. At all stages of a surgical career, schedules are busy, and it can seem daunting to add in just one more thing—but focusing on your well-being can fold naturally into your life. Following are four ways to consider:

  • Evaluate your goals and commitments. Having individual goals contributes to a sense of purpose and increased sense of well-being. Consider using these one-minute mindfulness exercises throughout the week and spend some time identifying things you might be able to step back from, or maximize your free time by eliminating tasks from your list of commitments and schedules. Find opportunities to say no instead of yesno matter how small or large. Consider making a takeaway goal to free up some of your time to engage in your well-being.
  • Lifestyle habits and sleep. Healthy physicians are more likely to provide better patient care and less likely to make mistakes from stress, fatigue and boredom. Sleep hygiene and management are key components to your well-being. Review your sleep habits and hygiene and lifestyle habits that affect sleep. Are you getting enough sleep? Have you considered a bedtime routine? A sleep diary helps identify patterns or practices that are helping or hindering your sleep.
  • Time waits for no one. Time plays a significant role in our lives. As a surgeon, your time is valuable and how you manage your time influences your work, career, social support system and more. Explore some of the common time management mistakes you might be making and identify steps you can take to improve your time management. If using technology is a preference, explore recommended apps every physician needs, note-taking apps and apps to manage, allocate and prioritize your professional and personal time.
  • Gratefulness. Being grateful is good for your health, mood and well-being. It is one of the simplest things you can do to increase your mental health. It is also one of the most undervalued tools to improve your mental health and others happiness and well-being. Most overestimate how awkward it might be to express thanks, which keeps us from engaging in a simple and impactful practice. Send notes of thanks each day to a colleague, peer, family member, friend or another important person in your life.