Here are some ways to cope with any stress or challenges that community pharmacy may bring.
I am hearing through the grapevine (friends, Facebook) that my fellow pharmacists are more stressed out and overworked than ever. Whether working long shifts on alternating days or shorter shifts more frequently, pharmacists are exhausted.
During work hours, there is no time to eat, barely any time to use the restroom,
no time to sit down and clear y
our head for even a moment.
We work in
a constant, high-stress environment where any mistake can have fatal consequences. O
shifts off, pharmacists are frantically running errands and keeping up with family
obligations. It is definitely a nonstop lifestyle
and although our profession may carry a lot of prestige, a pharmacist's life
comes with a lot of stress. In the time of ongoing influenza shots combined with "refill everything" December, followed by "new insurance" January, pharmacy life is extra stressful.
I reached out to Randi Levin,
a nationally recognized Transitional
for her expertise
. I have heard her speak about leading your best life and she is incr
edibly inspirational. I
she would have some helpful tips for pharmacists on how to cope with our hectic lifestyle, and as expected, she came through with amazing advice.
The first thing I asked her was generally how to deal with long shi
fts with no time to
, eat, or
? As for those pharmacists who work split shits, many are also frustrated during a shift change when instead of leaving as scheduled, we end up staying an extra hour to review problems, tie up loose ends, do paperwork, etc.
I expected her to tell us to take a break or just breathe, but her advice was surp
to a large degree, our
nt is what
sign up for
and is perhaps simply a
part of the job
description for pharmacists in busy large retail chains.
Ms. Levin explains, “
This is not something that is 'happening to you' but rather
a part of the tapestry of many hectic retail
You are a key part of the team of your store and as such you are a leader. How do you want to lead? You are part of the daily transition of pl
f you like what you do you will want to show up engaged and accepting because this
elevate your energy and attitude. If you can change your perspective to be able to accept the parts of your job that frustrate you as part of the overall job description, you can challenge yourself
to focus on how many people you help and impact each day rather than on the pitfalls of the environment itself.
day will come with stress and handle that stress as well as you can under the circumstances
by being mindful of your own energy levels.
She recommends asking
yourself the following questions:
How do you want to show up at work? Where do you want to be of service in your day?
Can you challenge yourself to see the impact and scope of your job as the pharmacist in this organization?
When you're having a tough moment at work, try to breathe deeply and count to 10
this will support you in diffusing a frustrating situation so that you respond
professionally rather than react from a place of stress and anger.
sk yourself if what you are stressed out about will matter in
If not, move on. If it will, you may want to take a deeper look at the situation.
We have established that i
t is important to go to work
prepared for whatever the day holds for you. While you should handle the stresses of the day
ly as possible, you want to make sure that you are leading a happy, fulfilling, and
balanced life. Ms. Levin
to accomplishing this
is to focus on being mindful
of your commitment to yourself
when you are OFF. When you are off, whether it is a long day or just a few
ask yourself the following: "
hat am I d
oing today that is nice for ME?
Spend time during your off days not only doing the essentials
but structure your time in a way that is meaningful to you. It is very easy to forget about yourself. You have to fill your cup before you fill everyone else's. Find an hour a day to do somethi
ng that you can look forward to:
a favorite TV show, a book you have been meaning to read, a hobby you always wanted to try, meeting a friend for a relaxing lunch and maybe a glass of wine! Ms. Levin also suggests freeing up some time by unplugging a little bit from social media. Use your s
enses and take a walk in nature
, daydream, and exercise. These are all de-stressors that will recharge YOU.
If you need a break
from the rigors of your job
but aren't ready to throw in the towel, remember that your job must work with you and for you. Perhaps you can talk to your supervisor about changing or reducing your hours
or changing your location. A very stres
sful job can impact everything:
your marriage, your family,
What about those that are miserable and feel trapped in their
because of salary or benefits they need
? Ms. Levin insists that you can always reinvent yourself and you are
limited only by the boundaries you put around yourself.
Perhaps you would be happier in a supermarket pharmacy, a hospital setting,
insurance company, consulting,
in pharmaceutical sales,
or in a drug information or academia setting. There is always something
you can do with your education.
Speaking of education, you can even go back to school and change your field
if that is what makes you happy.
. Levin believes that you will
be more fulfilled
if you move to things that are authentic to who you are
and that it is never too late to reinvent yourself.
Over time, what works for you may change and
She says "You aren't living your purpose if you don't want to get out of bed in the morning.
There is always a way to tweak the situation and the job itself so that it best aligns with who you are today and what your needs are as well.”
these suggestions help you!
Feel free to reach out to me with any feedback or comments at
If you would like to
learn more about
Randi Levin, her website is
or contact her at