2020 has brought with it some challenges. The pandemic has changed the healthcare industry, including how recruiters source and hire candidates. During these changing times – and any time for that matter – we believe journaling can be a tremendous tool for healthcare recruiters as well as their physician and clinician candidates.
Journaling is a physical way to process emotions and it goes back hundreds of years. One of the earliest known examples came from Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius. Marie Curie, Albert Einstein, Mark Twain, Leonardo da Vinci, and Frida Kahlo are other well known individuals who journaled their thoughts over the years.
Writing in a journal can be a huge stress reliever and a powerful tool to help you reflect and combat depression. Plus, people who journal tend to be healthier – and not just mentally. Writing can strengthen your immunity, decreasing your risk of illness. The health benefits also include long-term improvements in mood, stress and depressive symptoms. Not only does writing make you less likely to get sick, it also increases your chances of fighting diseases like asthma and cancer, per Rachel Grate.
We’re not suggesting you write down every thought or experience, but taking a few minutes each day to reflect can go a long way. Here are a few ways journaling can benefit you and your health:
- Clarify your thoughts and feelings
- Boost your memory
- Solve problems more effectively
- Resolve disagreements with others
- Keep your thoughts organized
- Set (and keep) goals
- Improve your writing
- Inspire creativity
Surprisingly, the feeling of well-being that comes with journaling isn’t just psychosomatic. The practice has very real physical health benefits as well. "While your left brain is occupied, your right brain is free to do what it does best, i.e. create, intuit and feel. In this way, writing removes mental blocks and allows us to use more of our brainpower to better understand ourselves and the world around us,” Maud Purcell, a psychotherapist and journaling expert, told Fast Company.
From a practical standpoint, journaling allows you to reference and document your experience – and it’s an excellent way to debrief. For doctors and even medical students, taking experiences out of your head and getting them onto paper can ease some of the anxiety and pressure that leads to burnout. That said, it can be a great technique to suggest to physician and clinician candidates, or even those who you know in your personal life.
Journaling can give you a break from technology, too. Writing by hand stimulates the brain in a way digital communication doesn’t, and it can “connect you with words and allow your brain to focus on them, understand them and learn from them,” per Psychology Today.
So, go ahead and pick up an inexpensive composition book (or a fancier journal if you prefer), and set aside some time and space for journaling. Encourage your physician candidates to journal, too. Try starting out by setting a timer for 5 minutes at the beginning or end of your day and just writing what comes to mind. It’s not just a way to record memories or find expression – it’s good for your health.
For more tips on how to connect with physician candidates this year, check out our blog How To Keep Your Candidate Pipeline Warm.