Stressed Out At Work? Ways to Cope with Challenges


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

n days


shifts off, pharmacists are frantically running errands and keeping up with family

and personal

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




trategist from


New Jersey,

for her expertise

. I have heard her speak about leading your best life and she is incr

edibly inspirational. I

knew that

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


the restroom

? 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

risingly different.

She explain



to a large degree, our

work environme

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

environments today.

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

ayers. I

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.

Expect that


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

before reacting


Ms. Levin

states that

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

five years.

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

as graceful

ly as possible, you want to make sure that you are leading a happy, fulfilling, and

balanced life. Ms. Levin




he key

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,


your health.

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,

at an

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.”

I hope

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

Related Videos
Rear view of Audience listening Speakers on the stage in the conference hall or seminar meeting, business and education about investment concept -  Image credit: THANANIT |
Pharmacist helping patient use glucose monitor -- Image credit: Kalyakan |
Pride flags during pride event -- Image credit: ink drop |
Female Pharmacist Holding Tablet PC - Image credit: Tyler Olson |
African American male pharmacist using digital tablet during inventory in pharmacy - Image credit: sofiko14 |
Young woman using smart phone,Social media concept. - Image credit: Urupong |
Pharmacy Times Public Health Matters Podcast (logo)
selling mental health medication to man at pharmacy | Image Credit: Syda Productions -
Medicine tablets on counting tray with counting spatula at pharmacy | Image Credit: sutlafk -
© 2024 MJH Life Sciences

All rights reserved.