REFLECT: Looking after yourself

Everyone across the medical and life sciences sectors have faced many challenges during the pandemic and looking after your wellbeing and taking time to care for yourself is as critical as ever. As the restrictions gradually ease, many may experience unease and anxiety whilst returning to work and re-adapting to the “new normal”.  


These resources can help support this transition, as well as offer basis for reflection on the pandemic and what positive changes we have implemented in looking after our mental wellbeing.  

For more information and resources on dealing with stress and how to take a break, visit the 'Stress and overwork' page in the REFLECT section of our COVID-19 Support Space.

[Page last updated 10 June 2021]


Dr Rashidatu Kamara, specialist in infectious diseases at the Ministry of Health and Sanitation in Sierra Leone, shares her thoughts on resilience during epidemics, looking after yourself and adapting to new situation. Dr Kamara was among the first responders to the 2014 Ebola epidemic.


Professor Subrata Ghosh, Professor of Translational Medicine and Director of the Institute of Translational Medicine at the University of Birmingham, shares his tips on developing resilience both from his own experience and also from talking with colleagues and developing leadership, mentorship and resilience courses across the UK and Canada.


Dr Neil Hill, consultant in diabetes and endocrinology at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust and former member of the British Army, shares his tips on dealing with stress:

"Hello. I'm a consultant at Charing Cross Hospital; I specialise in diabetes and general medicine and I'm going to very briefly discuss decompressing after work. I don't think this is a skill that I particularly excel at; I’m often quite stressed after I have been on-call. What has helped me in the past (and continues to) is having an opportunity to clear your thoughts, for you to let your mind free wheel and let the day’s events sort themselves out a bit. I like to exercise, but anything will do – a commute, listening to some music, a walk, an
activity that you don’t have to engage with too much.

"The military do ‘decompression’, the idea is that for people who have been on a potentially traumatic tour of duty abroad there is an enforced stop for a couple of days on the way home. It gives an opportunity for some rest and relaxation and to do some enjoyable
activities with people who have shared challenging experiences – a chance to put things in context away from the front line. In the current situation in the NHS those opportunities don’t really exist, but I strongly recommend talking to people about difficult experiences and
decisions you have encountered, colleagues, family, friends, partner – anyone will do.

"The last thing I wanted to say is that, if you're in doubt, if you are worrying about a patient, or you need someone to look-up a test result, or double check that you prescribed the right dose of something, please call and ask someone who is there to check for you. People, your
colleagues, are in hospital at all times and will happily put your mind at rest. Don't go to bed worrying.

"They’re my thoughts. Thanks for reading."


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