Mental Health Wellbeing
As a community we have all had a really busy few months since the outbreak of COVID-19. Whether that has been due to the usual commitments that year end brings, adjusting overnight to remote working, juggling home, school and work commitments, being redeployed to other areas or all of the above. During this time I have been very aware that there is a lot of mental health support out there for us as NHS workers, but being brutally honest, there just weren’t enough hours in the day for me to access it, and the fridge for chocolate and wine felt like an easier option.
However, as Recovery and Restoration are the new buzz words, and we are starting to return to the roles and workload levels that we were used to before the pandemic, I have to admit that I have hit a bit of a wall. Maybe it is a slump in motivation. maybe it’s being fed up of the monotony of every day feeling and looking the same on a 7 day repeat. Or maybe it’s the realisation that I’m not superwoman, so actually my performance as a mum, wife, friend and colleague has been below par. Being honest, my Ofsted report as a teacher to my 2 children would read “Truly Awful”.
But enough of the moaning – now is the time to do something about it. So I’ve started looking at what is out there, thanks to the resources that the Health and Wellbeing team at my organisation have shared, and thought that I would share them here too. There is loads out there, and not everything will suit everyone, but here are some that may help.
Unmind A mental health platform that you can access using your nhs.net email account, that helps users to proactively manage their mental health.
Headspace are currently offering NHS staff access to Headspace Plus for free. It is a mindfullness and meditation platform that also includes sleep aids, motivational videos and workouts.
Sleepio is a platform providing help with sleep patterns and can be accessed for free using your nhs.net email account.
Daylight is an app based platform to help with worry and anxiety and can be accessed for free using your nhs.net email account.
The NHS has a number of resources, the Every Mind Matters resources being particularly relevant. There is lots of information on there relating specifically to coronavirus and wellbeing. Also, the mental health charity Mind have a range of resources including managing feelings about lockdown easing and how the changes could make work more difficult or higher risk, and resources about coping with going into work.
After doing my research, the one that I am going to use is the Daylight platform. A quick question and answer session confirmed that I am prone to catastrophizing, something that I definitely need to work on if I am ever going to go shopping again. I’m also trying to exercise more and saying yes to more invitations for a socially distanced coffee in the garden, rather than bolting the front door in complete fear.
So that’s me, how are you all doing and what resources are you turning to for support?
FFF would love to know if you are making use of any resources and which ones are really working for you, so that we can share them with our community. Please either comment below, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or upload a blog of your experiences. We would love to hear from you.
One final thing, please don’t forget that as NHS workers we all have access to a dedicated support hotline 0300 131 7000, 7 days a week, 7am to 11pm if you feel that you need some support. This isn’t just for our clinical colleagues, it’s for all of us during these strange and challenging times.
By Rebbeca Edwards