Protect your health and wellbeing: tips for doctors

The theme of World Mental Health Day 2020 is Mental health for all – greater investment, greater access. The day is a timely reminder that while it is important to look after our physical health, we must also take care of our wellbeing.

The Covid-19 pandemic has changed all of our lives. Most people have experienced increased anxiety, confusion, fear and isolation which all have an impact on mental health.

Working together in the NHS is a team effort. It is important that we can help and support one another to deliver the best possible care, but it is important to understand that the current situation of the Covid-19 pandemic is creating an unprecedented clinical situation which is likely to affect the mental health and wellbeing of the doctors and workforce working within it.

We need to look after our own wellbeing and mental health and that of those around us for now and into the future as this situation could last for many years.

Here are some tips to reduce the impact of Covid-19 on your own mental wellbeing:

  • Try to limit the social media and news exposure of the Covid-19 pandemic as over exposure can cause stress
  • Acknowledge and recognise changes in your feelings
  • Listen to others if they are concerned about you
  • Stay connected with friends and family
  • Create a positive environment
  • Take care of your body
  • Create a new routine for the new situation
  • Take care of your body

There are also some steps you can take to protect your health when working in a Covid-19 environment:

  • Make sure you are fit tested for your FFP3 mask and understand your PPE
  • Understand your local standard operating procedures
  • Know your responsibilities within your roles
  • Take the opportunity to update yourself from online resources from your colleges.
  • Stick to routine and follow checklists
  • Talk to your colleagues
  • Ensure you take rest breaks
  • Ensure you are hydrated and eat nutricious food
  • When you are off duty ensure you rest and exercise and try to switch off to Covid-19