How to look after your wellbeing

When our work is focused on caring for others it is important you feel able to speak about your wellbeing. You should feel able to work rather then obliged to stay at work. Our wellbeing consists of our enviromental, mental, physical and social health. We may need a self-help resource, a listening ear, a random act of kindness or the help of professionals through psychological therapy. Each persons needs are individual and at Keeping Well SEL we provide support for our colleagues to see what works best for themselves.  

We often think that our physical and mental wellbeing are two separate forms. When we neglect one, we increase the likelyhood of developing problems for the other. Juggling the different priorities of work and family life, especially during the pandemic, can cause heightened levels of stress. This can start to impact on the wellbeing of staff members who have parental responsibilities. 

Here at Keeping Well South East London we want to support our health and social care staff to feel supported in striking a work\life balance. The pandemic has left us feeling more vulnerable and struggling to cope with managing both work and life. 

Support for Leaders - To help you lead your team compassionately and inclusively during these extraordinary times, the NHS has developed a suite of leadership support offers.

Supporting Our Staff - Helping you manage your own health and wellbeing while looking after others.

Intensive Care Society - Sustaining the wellbeing of our staff means that we can provide a better service for our patients, and we make safer decisions and fewer mistakes. We know that this is not just about how you as an individual manage the stress of your job; it is about how your job is designed (including how valued you feel at work, your autonomy and sense of control), the way your unit is managed and your team is led, and the support from your peers. This wellbeing hub therefore examines wellbeing from all angles - individual, team, and system.

Mental Wellbeing Audio Guides - On this page you can listen to a series of mental wellbeing audio guides to help you boost your mood.

PINC-UK (Psychologists in Critical Care UK) - PINC can be followed for the latest information on twitter by following the handle @uk_pinc

Philippine Nurses Assocation (PNAUK) - The Philippine Nurses Association – UK (PNA-UK) is the leading professional nursing association of Philippine nurses in the United Kingdom. PNA-UK was established to represent the Philippine nurses across the UK to enable and strengthen the Philippine nurses voice across the wider UK nursing agenda.

Natural Help for the NHS and Care home workers

Free relaxing Nature Sounds album for all NHS and Care Home workers from Symbiosis. There is currently an open invitation for NHS employees to contact the company Symbiosis Music, via their website, to obtain a free download code.

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Have you checked your health MOT?

There are many ways to check our health MOT. One of the ways is by taking one of our self-assesment quizs. Follow below to check out some of out resources.

Self assessment tools 

The self assessment tools below can help if you are unsure whether you should seek support to talk to someone.

Self assessment tool 1 - Looks at the common symptoms that are associated with low mood. 

Self assessment tool 2 - Looks at the common symptoms that are associated with anxiety.  

Work/life balance

Work-life balance is an important aspect of a healthy work environment. Maintaining work-life balance helps reduce stress and helps prevent burnout in the workplace. It can be difficult to establish a work-life balance in the unpredictable fast paced world we live in today. As we grow increasingly more connected through technology and social media, we forget the value of living in the present moment. Living in the present allows us to focus on one task at a time and prioritise what is important to us such as family and friends. 

ICU and Critical care staff have faced many challenges throughout the pandemic. Although restirctions have changed and people feel there is a return to normality, many staff members may not feel the same. To find out more about changes to restrictions  take a look below.

Kate's Story

Kate was far from home and away from her support system. Covid meant a lot of changes, unknowns and supporting and caring for other people like never before. As she realised she is not coping well, someone recommended IAPT.

Find out how IAPT supported Kate through this tough year.

"If you’re staff at the moment and you’re struggling because you’re supporting other people so much, a bit more than we probably ever thought that we would have to as health care workers, just reach out."

Julie Highfield

Ella Rhodes hears from Dr Julie Highfield, whose team are offering critical psychological support to medical teams making life or death decisions while working on the front lines of care around Covid-19. You can read the article here.

Kate's Story: ICU Nurse

How to start a wellbeing conversation

Health and wellbeing conversations are intended to be regular, supportive, coaching-style one to one conversations that focus on the wellbeing of our health and social care staff. The aim is to encourage organisations to embed wellbeing conversations across their system and create cultures where people feel heard and valued, and diversity is respected. This should, in turn, encourage us all to pass care and compassion on to each other, to patients and to our families. 

For further information on how to start a wellbeing conversaiton follow here.

The wellbeing of our staff can be affected by all kinds of factors at work.  Workload, capacity, relationships with colleagues and the physical working environment can all have an impact.  Likewise, factors outside work, including lack of sleep, financial worries, health conditions, caring responsibilities and other personal circumstances, can have an impact. A health and wellbeing conversation will be held by a line manager or supervisor and their are circumstances where colleagues may feel more comfortable talking to another trusted colleague about their wellbeing. Whether it’s taking place virtually or in person, it’s important to hold a  wellbeing conversation in a safe, confidential space.

  1. Attending – paying attention to your colleagues and “listening with fascination”
  2. Understanding – sharing an understanding of what they are going through
  3. Empathising where relevant
  4. Helping – taking action to signposting to support.

Further learning 

It can be hard to make sense of our experiences of being health and social care workers. To further expand our learnings have a look at the articles below. 

What support do frontline workers want? - Explore the U.K. frontline health and social care workers’ own experiences and views of psychosocial support during the pandemic.

The Importance of Wellbeing in the Healthcare workforce - Looking after your wellbeing in the workforce.

Covid Trauma Response Working group - The COVID Trauma Response Working Group has been formed to help coordinate trauma-informed responses to the COVID outbreak.

Experiences of support front line health and social care workers - Exploring UK mental health professionals’ experiences, views and needs while working to support the well-being of front-line HSCWs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

There is a balance between their fears and their sense of duty -  Ella Rhodes hears from Dr Julie Highfield, whose team are offering critical psychological support to medical teams making life or death decisions while working on the front lines of care around Covid-19.