The Coronavirus pandemic is causing disruption and challenges across the whole of society not least the NHS, on an unprecedented scale. In these challenging times one cannot over stress the importance of taking time out look after yourselves and your team. When we are working flat out to meet unprecedented demands and covering for colleagues who are unwell, and the challenges and changes in family life, its only too easy to overlook our own care and wellbeing. We know what we should do, and we are good at make sure our patients are doing it but finding time and resources to look after ourselves often comes bottom of the list.
Here is some advice on how to stay well:-
- Keep yourself informed of accurate information from legitimate sources. Our COVID-19 page offers advice from reputable sources. If you have any other information you think should be included on these pages please contact us
- Try to take regular breaks while at work. Where possible try to keep reasonable working hours and to ‘switch off’ when you are not at work
- Getting adequate rest and sleep is important. If you are struggling with sleep visit the Sleep Foundation for support
- Try to maintain a healthy diet. Eat nutritious food both at work and at home and engage in physical activity as much as possible
- Keep in touch
- Access supervision and peer support routinely
- Reach out to your colleagues, manager and other trusted persons for social support – they may be having similar experiences to you
- Talk with family and friends often, this will help you feel less isolated
- Network with other members through the LCNUK Members Directory (Login to access)
- Share information and tips via the LCNUK Discussion Forum (Login to access)
- Try to avoid unhelpful coping strategies. In the long term tobacco, alcohol or other drug use can worsen your mental and physical wellbeing. Instead use coping strategies that have worked for you in the past to manage times of stress – these are likely to be of benefit now. Social media can be a great way to stay connected and gain information. However, for some it can also become overwhelming and worsen feelings of stress and anxiety. Consider whether you need to switch off for some time to maintain your wellbeing
- Acknowledge your feelings. Check in with yourself regularly and ask yourself “Am I OK?” if the answer is “No” consider seeking help and speak to your line manager or someone you trust about the impact of your work
- Reach out to others. If you are a team leader or line manager ensure staff are aware of where they can access mental health and psychosocial support services, including providing advice on self-care strategies that can help reduce stress.
Here are just a few other resources to help you during these difficult times:-
- Nursing Times - COVID-19 : Are you OK?
- Mental health first aid England
- NHS Every Mind Matters
- 5 tips to stay calm whilst self-isolating
- Mindfulness app: free ‘Weathering The Storm’ programme
- BBC Sounds calming collection Mindful Mix
- Free online yoga programmes https://apolitical.co/remote-yoga/ or Yoga with Adriene on YouTube
- Virtually tours 12 worldwide museums
- Virtually visit the Paris museum
- 5 Minute Pause for Wellbeing: stop at 11am to talk to someone to tell them how you are feeling (Introduced at Gloucester Hospital Foundation Trust)
- Follow #CovidSupportForNurses on Twitter – not just for nurses!
- NHS Wellbeing support for NHS people call 0300 131 7000 7am to 11pm or text FRONTLINE to 85258, website www.people.nhs.uk