Why is it so hard to look after ourselves?
“So, I told them the truth: the hours are terrible, the conditions are terrible; you’re underappreciated, unsupported, disrespected and sometimes physically endangered. But… there’s no better job in the world”. (This is going to hurt. Adam Kay)
We get such pleasure from looking after others, yet we think there is something special about running our bodies into the ground. What is that about?
During our working lives we are unconscious to the cost of this behaviour, and we miss important time for ourselves, with our children, friends and lovers that is not reclaimable
Often it is only when we retire and, if we are lucky, start to enjoy time for ourselves and with our loved ones, that the price, in terms of ill health becomes apparent.
Yet, self-care isn’t hard, and in fact enables us to give better care to patients and support our colleagues more effectively which gives us the good feelings we value
It can be a circle where all benefit, or a destructive one that we become addicted to.
At this moment in history, when we are at start of second wave Covid-19, self-care is something that is particularly important for us to have honest conversations with ourselves and others we trust about, and then DO something to change our patterns.
Simple solutions can make a difference such as having a real conversation with someone where you really listen to how they are feeling. Smiling when you are out and about to release endorphins and cheer yourself and others up. Maybe check out the NAPC’s 8 things to remember when working on your wellbeing. We are all different and have different needs. Work out what helps you feel better and make time to do it.
For the first time in the many years I have worked within the NHS there are a plethora of options to support ourselves available, all provided free for us at this time.
So far 119,383 of our colleagues have downloaded apps such at Silver Cloud, Sleepio and Headspace.
3,027 colleagues in primary care have taken advantage of the free coaching sessions on offer, with a further 1,033 sessions booked and 8,065 colleagues have contacted the dedicated helplines. If you aren’t one of them why not explore the options.
I challenge you, even if you do nothing else look on people.nhs.uk and find one thing that you would find useful. You are worth it!