#299 How do you manage work-life balance and your wellbeing?

1 June 2021

AMA Victoria proudly supports Crazysocks4docs Day this Friday 4 June. It’s an annual event to raise awareness of the mental health of all doctors and health practitioners around the world. Founded by member Dr Geoff Toogood, the aims of the day are all about normalising the conversation around mental health and creating a safe place to do it.

Ahead of Crazysocks4docs Day, Dr Dan Wilson, the Chair of AMA Victoria’s GPs in Training Subdivision, answers the following question: 

How do you manage work-life balance and your wellbeing?

Short answer: It’s tough, but with the support systems, awareness of your limits and making time for joy in every day, you can achieve a good balance between work and personal life.

I’ll be honest. Sometimes I don’t achieve a good work-life balance and look after my own wellbeing. And it’s those times that I have been so focused on achieving professional or personal goals - so intent with a focus not to let myself down from achievement or completion - that I have found my own wellness and joy slip.

It’s that experience. That lived experience of coming back from burnout or near burnout (more occasions than I’d like to say) that I continue to craft a balance between life and work.

We’re all busy. We all do lots of different things. But importantly, we shouldn’t compare each others’ busy-ness or goals that we want to achieve. In my opinion, this only leads to failure, self-disappointment and coming short of success without a doubt.

Dr Dan Wilson

I use my lived experience of coming back from burnout or near burnout (more occasions than I’d like to say) to continue to craft a balance between life and work. My tips to achieving wellbeing (from someone who has burned out and returned to thriving, for now…):

  1. Learn to recognise your limits and boundaries. Also know that it’s okay to not be okay sometimes, but reach for help.
  2. Learn to accept defeat. Many readers will be high achievers and with many personal and professional goals. Discover a way to come to terms with defeat (or coming up short) and move on to a means to achieve it later or drop altogether.
  3. Speak up and get connected. Don’t suffer alone when struggling to balance work commitments and personal commitments. Speak with friends, family, your manager, a colleague, your GP or anyone you trust can help support you through.
  4. Discover joy. Whether its physical activity, leisure reading, reuniting with friends or just vegging out on the couch, dedicate time to switching off from work and make joy part of your everyday routine.

I’m not expert at it, but I’ve learned to recognise when I’m feeling the pressure, and have a support network of colleagues and friends that know when to tell me to stop, pull back and reinvigorate that joy.

Dr Dan Wilson
Rural Generalist & GP Obstetrics Trainee
Chair, AMA Victoria GPs in Training Subdivision
Chair, AMA Federal GPs in Training Advisory Committee

This year’s Crazysocks4docs Day launch will be held online at 7:45am on Friday 4 June. Guest panelists include Dr Mukesh Haikerwal AC, Dame Clare Gerada and Dr Dinesh Palipana OAM. Click here to register for this free event via Zoom.

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