“Outside of family and work, many of us have lost most if not all other social interactions.”Karl Zarse, MD
“The pandemic has added a whole other layer of stress,” Zarse said. “In the beginning, we were still seeing patients not knowing if this was going to get us extremely sick or even die while doing our job. Outside of family and work, many of us have lost most if not all other social interactions.”
Some may have turned to social media to connect. This also had consequences and proved a poor substitute for the real thing.
“Unfortunately, the use of social media during the pandemic, in particular, has been connected to an increased risk of anxiety and depression,” Chang said. “Social media is a way to connect, but it’s no substitute for actual meaningful connection.”
Zarse said that social media has its purposes, but doctors still need to (safely) get out and live their lives.
“One of the best ways to remedy this predicament is to center your social life around a physical activity,” he said.
Ultimately, it’s physicians themselves who must advocate for their mental health and work life balance, these doctors said.