Over the last few years there has, thankfully, been more of a realisation that we need to look after ourselves and each other. “Wellbeing” is the hot topic, yet I don’t think anyone could’ve imagined what we are currently experiencing across the world.
Different countries are all at different stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, yet no matter where you live you won’t be immune from some of the anxiety and worry.
At St Emlyn’s we’ve always believed that talking openly and encouraging conversations to happen is one of the best ways we can help. On this podcast Liz and I chat over some of the things that we have noticed and are feeling ourselves and offer some of our strategies to try to cope and remain healthy over the coming days, weeks and months.
COVID-19 Free Time
If we’re not careful, soon all things corona will be all we talk and think about, but we have to remember that there are other things in the world. Social media is COVID crazy (and seemingly just more and more crazy) and it’s all too easy to become immersed and consumed by it all.
Try to have some time away from Twitter, Facebook and the like. It may not be the right time to go cold turkey (and let’s admit some of us are properly addicted) but reducing your exposure to some of the nonsense can only be a good thing.
COVID-19 and Self Care
It’s OK to look after yourself. It really is. You need to be on your best form at work. Make sure you continue to do all the “normal” things (as far as a lockdown will allow you). Make the most of your (in the UK) one allowed exercise session a day. There are plenty of great topics available on the site to help you look after yourself. Do not underestimate diet, sleep and exercise as ways of keeping you healthy and in great condition to treat patients. The two links below should take you to most of our core content.
- The Resusciationists’s Guide to Health and Wellbeing https://www.stemlynsblog.org/the-resuscitationists-guide-to-health-and-wellbeing-a-st-emlyns-e-book/
- Wellbeing posts on St Emlyn’s https://www.stemlynsblog.org/tag/wellbeing/
Be happy being a follower
Much is made of “leadership”, but we can’t all be leaders. In fact, by definition most of us are followers,. Give your leaders your support, trust in their judgement. Allow yourself to accept what you are being asked to do. I’m all for a debate, but in this circumstance we don’t need everyone’s opinion or worse of all someone to throw metophorical grenades at well condsidered plans. This doesn’t mean you can’t ask questions – of course you can, and you must.
COVID-19 and Self care (part 2)
Make sure you know how to don and doff (the new in phrase for “put on and take off”) your PPE. Practise if you can and do not put yourself at risk. Remember the ALS adage that every scenario starts with “is it safe to approach”. That matters more now that ever.
The Scared Spectrum
How we each react will be different. If you’re not too concerned respect those who are worried and vice versa. We are all coming into this with our own baggage. It may sound strange, but the fact that both my parents have already died has taken away one layer of stress that is all encompassing for others.
You’re also likely to move up and down the spectrum and don’t be afraid to admit it.
It’s well known that for many part of their fulfillment at work includes the desire to one day reach “mastery” (or something near). Try to stay up to date with the latest COVID-19 research. St Emlyn’s and others have loads you can read and listen to in a free moment. Part of our fear is a fear of the unknown: the more we know the less anxious we may become.
Many of us are still in the preparation phase. Use the time wisely. Get as much sorted at home so when you return from work there is as little to stress you as possible.
None of us like thinking about our own mortality, but even though the risk to each of us individually is small there is no harm in making plans if the worst should happen. Having control helps ground us and focus.
Make some frozen meals so there’s always something to eat. Try to keep up with eating healthily. When you’re tired it’s all too easy to justify “treating yourself” with chococlate (and alcohol). Before you know it this reward system can become a habit and you’re physically less able to be the best version of yourself.
This too will pass
Whilst we’re in the midst of the pandemic “normal” life will feel a long way away, but it will come back. Think about plans for next summer – where might you go on holiday? After all you’ll deserve it.
We hope you enjoy the podcast. Take care.
Iain and Liz
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