3 Ways To Tackle Relationship Stress As A Busy Healthcare Professional

Doctor Touching the bridge of his noseBy Lucy Peters

Approximately 93 percent of healthcare workers reported higher than normal stress levels last year, according to Mental Health America. Life for healthcare workers these days is more strenuous than ever. If you are a health professional, the last thing you would want is for relationship stress to pile on to the work stress you already have. So if you ever find yourself facing relationship stress, keep these 3 techniques in mind. If you pair them with effective de-stressing strategies, you will be able to weather the tide of modern healthcare challenges and create a more reliable balance between work and your personal life.

Practice Empathy And Emotional Control

As much as you want your significant other to be understanding of your situation, you must also be understanding of theirs. You might be trying to shore up an understaffed hospital, but they might also be coming home from a bad day at work to an empty home. Empathy is a key component to reducing the stress your significant other makes you feel.  And as your agitation goes down, you will then be able to interface with them in such a way that doesn’t add to their own stress. A 2004 study by Eisenberg et al. shows this by exhibiting the positive relationship between regulating one’s emotions and being better at relating to others. Empathy and emotional control allow you to consider your partner’s experiences without having them pile onto your own feelings and overwhelming you. With this level of clarity, you are able to think of compromises that adequately address both of your concerns.

Get Creative With Conflict Resolutions

It cannot be emphasized enough how important conflict resolution is to eliminate relationship stress. A study by psychologists Julie Petersen and Benjamin Le for Modern Psychological Studies found that productive problem-solving was the only way to work through conflict without creating stress. The three other resolution tactics, namely conflict engagement, compliance, and withdrawal, all lead to some form of stress when employed. The first step in resolving any conflict is taking time to talk about it. However, your profession makes you short on time. So, you are going to have to improvise a way to make every opportunity to fix issues count. Arrange activities that you can pull away from easily should you get suddenly called in for an emergency. Or you can communicate through little gestures sprinkled throughout the day. Your resolution strategies will depend largely on your significant other’s personality. Try to appeal to their interests and talk things out over an activity they love. But remember to tell them about wanting to have a dialogue about your issues beforehand. Also, it helps a lot if you smooth things along with a peace offering, like thoughtful treats and gifts.

Maximize Your Quality Time Together

With rotating shifts and other scheduling hurdles, this task seems downright monumental. Still, with a little clever planning, you can squeeze as much quality time as you can possibly get out of your busy schedule. This usually entails building a separate schedule for spending time together as a couple. If your shift changes usually fall along with certain time slots, create alternate schedules that you can jump to, to eliminate the need to improvise. However, if shift assignments fall all over the clock, try to anticipate when they come and detect patterns in them.

Healthcare professionals face a veritable deluge of obstacles in today’s landscape. Now that our service is needed more than ever, we simply cannot allow stress to get to us, whether it be from work or from home. Hence, it is important to keep sources of stress in check with the most effective means you can muster.



Please also review AIHCP’s Stress Management Consultant Certification and see if it matches your academic and professional goals.  The program in online and independent study and open to qualified professionals.