To be able to care for your patients, you must take care of yourself. Here are a few tips and resources to help you do that.
- It is okay to take a break – taking a break will help you to recharge and give you a moment to gather your thoughts. When you return, you will be stronger for your patients and colleagues.
- Sleeping is not a luxury – good quality, unbroken sleep is essential for your physical and mental health.
- Eat regularly, eat well and stay hydrated – getting hold of food has been difficult, but hopefully now that the major supermarkets have identified how important it is that you can access food, then it will become a little easier for you. Each store is taking a different approach so it is best to check first.
- Avoid information overload – too much information can be overwhelming. Obtain your information from trusted sources and try to keep work-related COVID-19 updates to key times. Take breaks from watching, reading or listening to the news.
- Forgive yourself – when you feel you have made a mistake, or you do not achieve something you hoped for. Remember nobody is perfect, and putting extra pressure on yourself does not help.
- Take care of each other – you are part of an amazing team and have the ability to keep each other going. Take time to catch up and check that your colleagues are okay and coping. Be compassionate with each other and acknowledge the reality. Keep each other grounded and remember that you are working in very exceptional circumstances and there is a limit to what you can do, individually and as a team.
You are part of an amazing team and have the ability to keep each other going.
- How are you feeling today? – keep track of your wellbeing and be honesty with yourself. It is easy to dismiss symptoms, particularly when you are very busy and working under pressure. The How are you feeling? toolkit has been developed with NHS staff.
- Make room for your feelings – it is okay to feel vulnerable, overwhelmed, anxious and upset and it is important to acknowledge these feelings. Think about how you usually cope at times of stress and use these strategies.
- Keep in touch – you will naturally be worried about family and friends and they will be worried about you. So stay connected with them by phone and through social media.
- It is okay to stop working – if you are unwell, either physically or mentally, you can take the decision to not work.
Standard of conduct, performance and ethics - Manage your health
You must make changes to how you practise, or stop practising, if your physical or mental health may affect your performance, or judgement, or put others at risk for any other reason.
- Avoid unhealthy responses – do not rely on alcohol, smoking or caffeine as your way of copying.
- Get support when you need it – it is really important for you to get support from the right sources when you need it. A wide range of resources exist to support you and your wellbeing, here are just a few: