It is always easy to preach, but very hard to practise. Though, as a doctor, I pretty much practise what I preach, there are instances that knuckles me to the fact that I am still human!
Nevertheless, when I had a patient recently ask if doctors resolve to beat their long hours of work and give health a wee bit priority at the dawn of a fresh year, it got me pondering.
‘Doctors should practise breathing techniques that have a direct influence on their mood and emotions.’
How many doctors are able to get at least six-and-half hours of sleep? All the lessons learned at medical college on how lack of sleep throws out of gear everything from your metabolism to your concentration now seem to remain in academic books, stashed away on library shelves. It is only after the doctor takes up the profession, does he/she realise that, practically, life is far from what is scripted in theory.
So, I impress upon the medical fraternity to resolve to a minimum of six-and-half hours of calm, peaceful and sound sleep each night to keep sanity intact!
Patient care is of utmost interest to any medical professional. There could be an average of 150 outpatients a day, leaving us with very little time to even answer nature's call. It is not possible to deny consultation. There cannot be a "come back another day" with patients. This being the case, have we even thought of relaxing our mind with simple breathing techniques?
It is not uncommon for doctors to come across patients and attendants who are over-inquisitive; come armed with sheets of queries based on the half-baked information that is thrown open liberally by the world wide web! It is now that a doctor needs to be patient, calmly explaining the nuances and that took us five years to learn in our MBBS course! And in such circumstances, simple breathing techniques help.
So, I insist that the doctors practise breathing techniques that have a direct influence on your mood and emotions.
Shape matters. Even for doctors! Pot belly jutting out of tucked-in pants may be quite an embarrassment. More so when you have a conference and you are all set in your suit and boot.
Will a medical professional with poor physique and a protruding tummy be taken seriously, no matter how phenomenal his presentation is? People may accept law enforcers with a swaggering belly but certainly not doctors!
So, resolve to get yourself a personal trainer to goad you into a fitness regimen.
Tea is the most important beverage consumed by a huge majority of the Indian population. Now, here, I am not talking about creamy milk tea that helps you take a break. Go in for its green counterpart that is known to improve brain function, helps in losing fat and lowers risk of cancer.
So, for the next 365 days, learn to appreciate the subtle fragrance of good quality green tea and use the tea time to unwind and meditate as a respite from your stress!
Though patients look upon doctors as gods, they do not come with immunity to diseases and health issues. Suffice to say that periodic health check-up for doctors is as important as it is for patients. It is important for professionals with such busy schedules to maintain a healthy lifestyle depending on their age and family history.
So, make an appointment for a master health check-up, preferably in another hospital, such that you are not dragged into consulting an emergency just as you are preparing yourself for day-long check-ups!
Last but not the least: make sure you have a health checklist. And to make the resolutions stick, set small goals based on your daily routine.
Ditch the pie-in-the-sky resolutions you make every year, follow these for a healthier and a happier year ahead!
(Dr. Rajat Arora is an Interventional Cardiologist and Medical Director at Yashoda Hospitals in Delhi. The views expressed are personal. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org )