Being in the healthcare industry, you understand how important it is to take care of yourself. But, what many medical sales reps forget is that this also means nurturing your mental health. Mental health problems are more common than you might think and being in a high-stress job can put you at higher risk.
In fact, the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) reports that anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 18.1 percent of the population every year.
These conditions can worsen when you don’t have a solid support system. Unfortunately, 60 percent of employees say that their job is taking a toll on their personal life, according to an ongoing Officevibe poll.
It’s crucial for medical sales reps to take steps to support their mental health. Especially when you’re out on the road separated from family and friends, use these tips to help fight stress, anxiety, and depression:
Make each day unique
Life on the road can get monotonous. You spend hours driving. Stay at unremarkable hotels. Eat at chain restaurant after chain restaurant. If you’re not careful, this repetition can hurt your mental state.
Each day, set aside time to do something unique and special for yourself. Although you’re traveling for work, that doesn’t mean every moment must be dedicated to the job. You still deserve time to yourself to have fun.
It can be something simple like listening to a new podcast while you drive or something bigger like taking the afternoon to visit a nearby monument. Take the time to journal about these activities each evening. Recapping your adventures and how they made you feel will ensure there’s a focus on positivity emotions every day.
Have your go-tos on speed dial
There’s no reason to feel isolated while you’re on the road. On your smartphone alone, there are dozens of ways for you to stay connected with your support system. It can also be nice to return to traditional modes of communication while you travel, like sending people postcards from the towns you visit. You just have to get into the habit of keeping in touch.
Once a day, call a friend or family member while you’re driving — using hands-free tech, of course. Take a few moments to vent about any work frustrations and then move on to other topics. This will help you relieve stress and stay up-to-date with your loved one’s lives.
Just be sure to stay open if your mood is down. Your friends and family would rather have an honest account than have you try to cover up that you’re struggling. Trust that they’ll understand and offer their love and support.
Know when to end your day
If you’re starting to get sick of the road and just want to get home, it can be tempting to try to cram as much work as possible into a day. But that extra stress and pressure will only exhaust you physically and mentally.
Each morning, set two goals for yourself. The first should be the number of clients you’d like to meet that day. The second should be what time you’d like to finish. Whichever comes first is your stopping time for the day.
It doesn’t matter if you only have one more customer on your list, it can wait until the next day. This will ensure you’re not driving tired and have plenty of time to relax your brain with non-work thoughts.
Mental health is important. But as a medical sales rep, it can be easy to forget to take time to care for yourself. Using these tips while you’re on the road can help you stay healthy and make it less likely you’ll have serious issues like anxiety and depression.