As is true with any big undertaking in life, running your own chiropractic practice can be incredibly rewarding, but also extremely stressful. It's important to learn to manage those stresses if you are to run a successful practice and maintain your sanity. Here are our tips:
1. See Your Strengths: Your patients can tell when you aren’t confident in your skills. That unease makes them anxious, resistant, and makes them want to leave. Therefore it is important to push your anxiety aside and remind yourself of your strengths and that your skills can help those that come to you. Sure, you are probably like the rest of us and have skills you need to learn or improve upon. But you wouldn't have started your own chiropractic practice unless you were sure of your abilities.
2. Develop Your Professional Skills: The more competent you are, the more confident (and relaxed) you will feel. Read chiropractic journals and articles. Go to workshops. Take advantage of webinars and conferences. It’s one of the responsibilities of responsible chiropractors!
3. Take Time for Mental Health: The overall health and wellness of your patients is your priority, so heed your own advice. If you tend to suffer from anxiety or meet new challenges with fear and hesitation, take the time to work on yourself. Seek the help of a professional mental health counselor to address these issues.
4. Practice Mindfulness. Mindfulness is being in the moment and pushes you to focus on yourself with purpose. Being “mindful” requires shutting down the anxious thoughts in your head so you can truly focus on the needs of both your practice and your patients.
5. Focus on the Business End of your Business. Unfortunately, sometimes even very good chiropractors fail at operating their own practice because they haven’t had any training in running a business. Although your work is your calling, you must be able to understand the logistics of operating a business. We can help guide you and you can seek out assistance from other established chiropractors to find out more about what you need to know and how to know it. Read books, blogs, and articles on good business practices. Take a class in entrepreneurship, bookkeeping, and marketing. Make a clear task list of what you need to learn to do and if and when you can afford to hire out some of those tasks such as billing or cleaning the office.
6. Avoid Isolation. Truth be told, you are only as isolated as you allow yourself to be. By networking and regularly communicating with other chiropractic professionals, you will increase your comfort level which will help reduce your anxiety. Create a peer supervision group of other chiropractors that meets once a month. Introduce yourself to the local crisis team. Make lunch dates with business owners that may benefit from your services. Make networking a priority!
7. Practice Good Lifestyle Choices: As a chiropractic professional, you are well-versed in health and wellness. Therefore, you probably already know that you are more likely to handle stress well if you are healthy. Just as you would advise your patients to take care of themselves, you too need to take care of yourself. Use exercise as a reliable stress reliever. Schedule time in your day to take a walk or go to the gym. Remember to take breaks in your hectic day to unwind and be sure to get plenty of sleep and eat well!
8. Maintain Healthy Relationships: In order to be the best chiropractic professional, you have to remember to stop being one for at least part of your day! Spend quality time with your friends and family members, giving them the time and attention they deserve. Although you love your work, dedicate time to other activities that bring you joy. It's all about balance!
Every profession comes with its own stresses, and running your own practice is no different. Though you can't eliminate 100% of those stresses, you can develop the confidence and competence to handle them. By taking care of yourself and developing valuable skills, you will become more confident and relaxed in your work, allowing you to be more helpful to those who need it.