Originally published by Bev Matthews – 11th January 2021
We spend a lot of time looking after other people, but we need to think about what we need to look after our own wellbeing, too.
Creating a wellness action plan (WAP) can be a useful way of doing that.
Everyone can complete one, you don’t need to have a mental health problem in order to feel the benefits. It just means that you already have practical steps in place to ensure you are supported when you aren’t feeling great.
There is more information available on Mind, but some things you might like to include in your WAP are:
- What helps you to stay well? How might you make sure you integrate those things into your day, for example scheduling time for something you enjoy?
- What are your triggers (the things that negatively impact your wellbeing)? This could be feeling out of control with a heavy workload, or getting too tired.
- What are some early signs that tell you that you need some wellbeing support? (for example, difficulty concentrating, prioritising work tasks)
- What are things that your manager and/or colleagues could do to help support you? (this could be encouraging you take a proper lunchbreak).
You don’t have to share your WAP with anyone – it can be a useful way to check-in with yourself. If you would like to share your WAP with someone, such as your line manager or a colleague, include a note about how they can use this to support you.
Regularly review your WAP and tweak it as necessary. Things change all the time, and your needs will change too.
Further support and information
- A range of support for NHS colleagues is available here.
- You are very welcome to #Caring4NHSPeople monthly wellbeing sessions. The next one is on Wednesday 13 January 2021 at 4pm. Dr Rachel Morris will be talking about how to support your teams through the COVID crisis without burning out yourself. Joining details are available here.
- Sign up for The School for Change Agents. As part of the 2021 cohort we’ll be reflecting on the realities of healthcare in a pandemic; but also show how a crisis can often be time the when change can often be created.
“I am quite prone to stress at work. And if I’m feeling down this makes it worse. But I can keep a handle on this with a little bit of support. And this support is probably less onerous than many employers would think. Very simple, small things can make a big difference.”