Having a work/life balance is one of the most sought after states of being that any working professional can hope to accomplish. For those of us who work in the aesthetic field: dermatologists, plastic surgeons, etc., there is even more at stake than just feeling good about our lives. Good mental health, which comes with life balance can actually make our skin better. This should not be a surprise, as mental health is an indicator of physical health and physical health, in turn, is reflective of looking good.
TSLMS believes in looking good. In fact we have an entire conference for practitioners focused on this, SCALE Music City.
Thus, the topic of balance and mental health is right up our alley.
Mental Health Defined
According to the US Government, mental health:
Includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood.
Over the course of your life, if you experience mental health problems, your thinking, mood, and behavior could be affected. Many factors contribute to mental health problems, including biological factors, such as genes or brain chemistry, life experiences, such as trauma or abuse, or family history of mental health problems.
Mental health issues are very common and statistically almost half (a whopping 46.5%) of adults will suffer from mental health issues at some point in their lives. There are no discerning factors or populations of people that escape this, but the more educated we are, the more opportunity there is to get the help for any one of these complex medical disorders, including the two most common: depression and anxiety.
Doctors are just as likely as the rest of the population to get depressed. As noted by Clinical Psychiatry News, “The lifetime prevalence of depression among physicians is 13% in men and 20% in women; these rates are comparable to those of the general population.” Doctors have the highest likelihood of suicide among professions counted according to TopMastersInHealthCare.com, and almost 4 times that of the general population. Some of this, they point out is likely linked to the lack of job satisfaction that so many of our colleagues feel. That said, dermatologists have the highest rated job satisfaction among physicians, and plastic surgeons have a higher rate than most other specialties, at 80 and 67% respectively. Even so, this means that a lot of us are less than happy in our chosen professions.
Work Life Balance: A Mental Health Cure
Work-life balance is something that we have all heard more and more about in recent years. For many of us this was never a topic of conversation in our early careers, but the last decade has seen a rise of awareness about the links between working too much and mental and physical health. As defined:
- Work-life balance is a state of well-being that a person can reach or can set as a goal in order to allow them to manage effectively multiple responsibilities at work, at home and in their community. Work-life balance is different for everyone and it supports physical, emotional, family and community health and does so without grief, stress or negative impact.
- Work-life conflict occurs when individuals, at any level within an organization, find their roles within the workplace and outside it are overwhelming to them or interfering with one another.
A 2016 article in Medical News Today points out that not accomplishing a work life balance is highly likely to lead to health issues down the road:
Damaging effects include a higher risk of stroke, coronary heart disease, and mental disorders, such as anxiety and depression. Some studies have shown that individuals who work 55 hours or more per week have a 1.3 times higher risk of stroke than those working standard hours.
Sleep deprivation has also been linked to cardiovascular disease and an increased risk of death, causing myocardial infarction and stroke. Long working hours have also been associated with a higher risk of anxiety and depression. A 5-year study found the risk of developing depression in healthy individuals is 1.66 times higher in employees working more than 55 hours a week. The risk of anxiety was 1.74 times higher.
Add on the toll that this takes on the way you look, and you have a recipe for less than optimal success. The skin, in particular, as most of us understand, suffers when the body is unwell. (Source).
One common factor among TSLMS members is the desire to have a successful and fulfilling career. One of the best ways to start this is by committing to some “you” time. SCALE Music City is an opportunity to start this.
Attending SCALE Music City is Good For Your Well Being
Did you know that attending professional conferences can be good for your mental health? Psychiatric Times actually published a piece on this:
The benefits of attending professional conferences extend beyond the program. My experience at the ANPA conference is surely similar to what others feel when they attend well-planned conferences sponsored by organizations in their areas of interest. There is a sense of excitement, the “thrill of the crowd,” as those who are passionate about a subject gather and devote time to a shared experience away from the ordinary day-to-day. Contributing to this thrill is the opportunity to interact informally with the field’s thought-leaders during breaks in the program, social hours, or poster sessions. In addition, the expected gratification that comes from hearing an outstanding scientific talk is multiplied when well-informed audience members ask probing questions and animated discussions spill out of the auditorium into the coffee break. Learning new ways of thinking often requires this kind of deeper, more active engagement with the material.
Add to this the time spent with colleagues and the opportunity to have a break from your day-to-day.