New research suggests simple ways to help alleviate burnout

Researchers are looking for new ways to combat burnout, and one possible solution is simpler than you might think. A new study says that just a few minutes of positive thinking a day can improve your long-term mental health.

It could be something kind you do for someone or something beautiful you see like a sunset.

The study focused on people who have been particularly busy over the past few years; health workers.

Duke’s Center for Healthcare Safety and Quality Director Dr. “Two out of three of our colleagues are currently drowning and they need a life jacket,” said Bryan Sexton.

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On Thursday, December 23, 2021, workers on the left change medical gloves as people are tested for COVID-19 at a walk-in test site in Farragut Square, a few blocks from the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin / AP Newsroom)

Dr. Sexton was the study’s principal investigator. He says many healthcare workers feel drained, especially after several years of intense epidemic care and now a nasty mix of Covid and flu cases.

He has created a handful of instructional videos that explain simple ways to think or act positively. Videos on EdMedX Youtube channel. The study’s participants applied the tips to their daily work lives.

“Actual activity can take anywhere from 2 to 7 minutes,” Sexton said.

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As the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak continues in Bismarck, North Dakota, USA, a person receives a throat swab from a healthcare worker at the drive-through test site inside the Bismarck Event Center on October 26, 2020. (Reuters/Bing Guan / Reuters Photos)

A lesson encourages you to remember a time when you were “in awe” of a beautiful place.

“Awe expands your sense of time. You’ll feel like you have more time,” he says in one of the videos posted on YouTube.

The idea may sound simple, but the data says it works. The researchers showed the lessons to 480 healthcare workers and measured their emotional exhaustion over the following months.

After a month, the burnout improved. And when the study ended, it continued to evolve for a year.

Participating in the research, Dr. “I think Dr. Sexton’s work has really helped me add micro-meditations to the middle of all my work,” said Genie McPeek Hinz.

“You don’t have time to look after yourself,” said McPeek Hinz.

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Dr. Sexton says it’s very important for healthcare professionals to take care of themselves because that stress shouldn’t be passed on to patients.

“Emotional exhaustion is directly linked not only to medication errors, but also to delays in care delivery, interruptions in communication, disruptive behaviors, and risk-adjusted mortality,” Sexton said. said.

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While the research is over, Duke hosts periodic mental health sessions that are free for all U.S. healthcare professionals. The next sessions are in January.

While the study focused on healthcare workers, Sexton says these tools can be applied to any profession and anyone who feels drained.

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