Overscheduled and Overwhelmed? You’re Not Alone

3 coping tips from our staff experience experts

Today, we’re facing a stress epidemic. Constantly pressing down on the gas pedal taxes your sympathetic nervous system — the one responsible for the “fight or flight” response. Eventually, you’ll end up running on fumes, or you’ll crash.

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To get through life safely, you want to strengthen your brake pedal, to slow down, to stop! To help you switch gears, we asked our Cleveland Clinic Staff Experience physician leads for some help.

“What are one or two strategies you use to deal with stress on the job?”

Here’s what they had to say:

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“I build in a lunch break that includes some nonmedical reading. Or I talk with colleagues.”

Susan Rehm, MD
Vice Chair, Department of Infectious Disease
Executive Director, Physician Health

“Stop. Pause and take a deep breath before I move on.”

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J. Harry Isaacson, MD
Department of General Internal Medicine

“I close my door and take a few deep breaths and drink a glass of water. I stand and look the window and see the lake, which makes every stress feel a bit smaller. Or I joke with my team, just find anything to belly laugh about, mostly make fun of myself.”

Sumita Khatri, MD
Department of Pulmonary Medicine