Knowing where we can go for help dealing with stress is so important, and as a company Local Care Force supports the Time to Change movement with our “Address your stress” project, to assist our workforce if they are finding their stress levels unbearable.
We are all aware Healthcare is a stressful environment in which to work at the best of times, but the added pressure of the COVID-19 outbreak will only exacerbate these pressures. This is why, now more than ever, having mechanisms in place to protect our own mental health is imperative during this difficult and uncertain time.
Yet, the ability to cope well with pressure, trauma and uncertainty relies on developing behaviours, thoughts and actions. Anyone can learn these habits and create strategies to help increase resilience and coping mechanisms. Here are a few ways that could help;
- Don’t spend time worrying about something over which you have no control – stay well informed and follow the recommended procedures which have been put in place.
- Whilst it might sound crazy, try to maintain some work/life balance. Spend time with your immediate family (within your household as to prevent unnecessary social contact) and set time aside to concentrate on relaxing
- Look after yourself physically and take enough rest. Exercise (following social distancing guidelines) and maintain a healthy diet’.
- Be optimistic, being a glass half empty person can wear you and colleagues down. The constant bombardment of 24 hour news updates and relentless social media can be distressing. Try to limit the updates you seek on COVID-19 to a set time each day and only from reputable sources such as the gov.uk website.
- Develop self-confidence and make sure you give yourself credit and praise when you do something well. We are all working in unprecedented times, with ever changing information and advice. Ensure you are working within the most up to date guidelines so you know you are doing the best for your patients and yourselves.
- Be honest with yourself and others, if things are not going well address them professionally, allowing problems to fester makes them worse and will not help solve them.
- Do not try and solve everything alone, seek help and support from family and colleagues This is a time we need to all pull together and support each other as colleagues and as a wider community.
- Develop other interests so that not everything in your life revolves round one thing. Now might be the time to research (online) something you’ve always wanted to do, a sport you wanted to try or a new hobby to take up once the COVID-19 crisis is over.
- As a team celebrate success, reflect on what is going well and learn from things that don’t go well.
There are many other ways we can help ourselves to increase our own resilience, some people take exercise, paint or write a journal. For others yoga, meditation or mindfulness is helpful and thers may gain strength from their religious beliefs. Find something that helps you to keep things in perspective or gives you inner strength, and use it to maintain your health and wellbeing.
Here our our top 5 tips…