The Fit Pharmacist: Managing Stress as a Pharmacist
Adam Martin, PharmD: Hi, I’m Adam Martin, founder of The Fit Pharmacist. The most difficult part of a pharmacist’s job is stress, but stress does not need to consume our lives. Believe it or not, stress in and of itself is a healthy response to your environment and inner thoughts. But we should aim to reduce stress to a healthy level. Here’s how to do it:
Step 1 is to breathe. To blunt the stress response, activate the parasympathetic nervous system. The best way to do this is using slow, deep breathing. With practice, you can reap the major benefits of this simple solution.
Step 2 is to stay grounded. Those who practice meditation will gain more control of themselves through being more aware of their minds. The goal is not to directly control one’s emotions, but to connect and notice them.
Step 3: Action is the cure for fear. Fear is often the cause of stress, whether it be of the unknown or a big deadline coming up. The best solution is to take action. First, acknowledge and observe your stress level rising, and notice what is stressing you out. Next, make an action plan to reduce stress, and then act on it.
Step 4 is to be in control. Before effectively dealing with stress, realize that you are in control. Time, practice, and patience are required. One way to feel in control is to use simple mantras such as “I’ve got this,” “I can relax,” “This is exciting,” and “I am going to be a much stronger person because of this experience.” And in this moment, all of my needs are met.
Step 5 is have self-compassion. Judging and being hard on yourself will only set you back. When you make a mistake, recognize it, own it, learn from what you can, and move on.
Step 6 is become cognitively flexible. Our brains default to assuming the worst, taking on a catastrophe mindset. Don’t make a mountain out of a molehill.
Step 7 is take the magic pill of life. As a pharmacist, nutrition consultant, and personal trainer, I can say with 100% confidence that the cure-all for negativity and stress is exercise. Research shows that working out 3-5 days per week at a minimum decreases stress and increases brain function. Of course, always consult with a physician about an appropriate exercise regimen before beginning.
Thanks for watching.