5 Ways to Defeat Day-to-Day Stress

Every pharmacist has stressful days, but what sets you apart is how you handle them.

Every pharmacist has stressful days, but what sets you apart is how you handle them.

Are you calm or overwhelmed when encountering insurance issues, difficult patients, or staff shortages? If you’re like me, the answer depends on the length of your to-do list, amount of annoying encounters, or even the day of the week.

Your health and happiness are affected when your stress levels go unchecked. Here are 5 ways to reduce stress in your day-to-day life:

1. Reframe your thought process

Have you ever worked as a floater pharmacist? There’s a lot less pressure, but not because the work is easier. It’s because the expectations are more realistic.

Now, apply that attitude to your day-to-day workflow. Which tasks are you handling that could be delegated? Which can be eliminated altogether? What process improvements can you make?

Reframe your thinking about your full-time position, and take action on the things you need to change.

2. Exercise

I manage my day-to-day stress better on the days I work out. Even a short dog walk before work helps me cope.

Exercise releases endorphins and reduces cortisol. You know the biology, so get moving! Schedule some exercise into your day, find a buddy or join a class, choose an activity that you’ll enjoy, and incorporate strength, stretching, and aerobic activities.

Exercise is proven to reduce stress, so it’s usually the first thing to go on a busy day, work on making it a priority.

3. Get outdoors

Move any routine daily task outside and you’ll find that your productivity increases.

As little as 5 minutes of fresh air and sunshine will boost your mood and help you cope with daily stressors that are unavoidable. Go for a walk or run, take a bike ride, or enjoy a game of golf.

4. Spend time with family and friends

Socializing counteracts the negative feelings associated with stress, so take time to laugh together, make plans for a weekend getaway, share your burdens, and support someone else in need.

Socializing with family and friends brings joy, and spending a night playing games helps you forget about your problems. A new perspective can help you focus on the things in life that really matter.

5. Sleep

The natural circadian rhythm gets out of balance when the body is stressed. In the morning when my cortisol level should be high, it’s often low. In the evening, when it should be low, it’s high.

I must admit I’m still struggling in this area. If you are, too, try abiding by these sleep hygiene rules:

  • Go to bed and wake up the same time every day
  • Turn off all electronics at least an hour before bed
  • Relax, take a bath, or read a book before bed

Remember how refreshed you feel after a good night’s sleep? You might not be able to get a full 8 hours every night, but set small goals and commit to improve.

Pharmacists will always have crazy days. The next time you have a particularly hard day, stop and consider what your reaction will be. Implementing tactics to defeat day-to-day stress will improve your overall health.