The current environment is unprecedented in our life time and many of us will be experiencing feelings of stress, pressure and anxiety. There is no 'right way' to navigate our way through this situation and you may find yourself fluxing between feeling like you have processed the situation and feeling complete despair.
It's important to recognise that as health professionals, we are not exempt from the feelings that our patients are experiencing such as being stressed, worried and anxious. It is ok to say that you are not coping.
The Ministry of Health are providing confidential psychological support for frontline health workers which can be accessed either by phone or video via a dedicated number – 0800 820 080.
We have also listed below a number of resources that you may find helpful. All have been developed specifically for this time during Covid-19. Not every resource will meet everyone's needs so have a look at a few to find some that may be more relevant to you.
COPING STRATEGIES DURING COVID-19 - Webinar
The Society facilitated a question and answer session on Health & Well-being - coping strategies during COVID-19 with wellness experts Dr Fiona Moir and Dr Renske van den Brink from Connect Communications.
More information about assigning ENHANCE points can be found here.
Other Resources -
Dr Jud Brewer
Dr Jud Brewer is a psychiatrist who has developed some useful short videos specifically related to anxiety experienced due to COVID-19.
Topics he covers includes:
- How to manage anxiety and uncertainty
- 5 good habits to build in times of uncertainty
- Why anxiety makes sleep worse and 3 things to do
- How to train your brain to use kindness to create connection during a crisis and how to make it habit
You can view his videos on his YouTube channel.
Bede Skinner is a pharmacist and health and wellbeing coach. He has set a goal to live well, to 100 years old. He aims to inspire others to join him in his pursuit of a longer, healthier life. This goal was triggered by the loss of his Dad to a heart attack, and his Mums' diagnosis of Alzheimers. On his journey of health evolution he discovered a passion for longevity, neuroscience and behavioural change. He also founded a strong belief in the need to change the way we are living our lives, in particular, how we deal with stress.
He has created a Pharmacy 5 Day Resiliency Challenge on his YouTube channel.
This resource is written in sections that provide advice for the general public, health professionals and team leaders.
Ministry of Health
The following MoH website provides advice on maintaining general wellbeing during alert level 4.
NZ Institute Wellbeing and Resilience
This resource contains a number of bullet point helpful tips and provides links to some useful podcasts.
Pharmaceutical Journal (Royal Pharamceutical Society Publication - UK)
Usually a subscription access journal, the Pharmaceutical Journal has published this open access article for pharmacists.
Another New Zealand resource with some useful ideas of ways to look after yourself during periods of stress. It also has some COVID-19 specific ideas, based on the principles of Te Whare Tapa Whā.
While this website is known for their resources on depression and anxiety, it also has specific information relating to anxiety due to COVID-19. You can also find links to other organisations that you may find useful.
This website has a collection of COVID-19 specific topics relating to looking after yourself during this time. Some will be more relevant than others, but you might like to explore mindfulness to help with stress or learn about how to build resilience. Some of these topics would also be excellent resources to recommend to your patients.
Mentemia – a free app based tool to help you stay well and develop a mental wellbeing plan, led by Sir John Kirwan;
Melon – an online and app programme that develops a community to help support you in your well-being plan, supported by the Ministry of Health;
Justa thought – free online courses that help you to develop strategies for coping;
Allright – free resources online to help yourself and those around you including helping children when ‘attending’ school from home. Endorsed by Canterbury District Health Board and Mental Health Foundation.
Most of the above resources suggest limiting your media coverage of the pandemic. It's a fine balance for pharmacists as you need to follow accurate information sources to keep on top of developments and clinical best practice, but you also don't want to be overwhelmed.
Lastly, if you are feeling overwhelmed, please don't struggle alone. Talk to someone you trust. If that's a challenge, then you can free call or text 1737 anytime, 24 hours a day to talk or text with a trained counsellor.