Health and Wellness

Dear Colleagues, for many of us these past several months have been stressful, not just personally but professionally. Many of our friends and colleagues have been on the front lines providing care to patients during this pandemic. Also, so many of our practices came to a halt and caused financial uncertainty. There have been some answers over the last few months, but we are still uncertain as to what the future may bring. I wanted to share some tips and links to sites that I hope you may find useful. It’s important, now more than ever, that we focus on our well-being and health so that we can continue to provide care and help to those who need it.

Massachusetts General Hospital Department of Psychiatry website has tips and recommendations as well as tools to help with mental health for healthcare providers.

Many Departments of Psychiatry around the country have set up Mental Health support lines to help local healthcare providers. Please check local Universities for these help lines nearest to you.

The CDC has a website to help cope with stress during the pandemic.

This is a link to a video from the American Academy of Pediatrics on Resilience

Useful tips from NHS for managing anxiety related to COVID-19

  1. Stay connected with people Maintaining healthy relationships with people we trust is important for our mental wellbeing, so think about how you can stay in touch with friends and family while needing to stay at home.

  2. Talk about your worries It's normal to feel a bit worried, scared or helpless about the current situation. Remember: it is OK to share your concerns with others you trust – and doing so may help them too.

  3. Support and help others Helping someone else can benefit you as well as them, so try to be a little more understanding of other people's concerns, worries or behaviors at this time.

  4. Feel prepared Working through the implications of staying at home should help you feel more prepared and less concerned. Think through a normal week: how will it be affected and what do you need to do to solve any problems? If you have not already, you might want to talk with your employer, understand your sick pay and benefits rights.

  5. Look after your body Our physical health has a big impact on how we feel. At times like these, it can be easy to fall into unhealthy patterns of behavior that end up making you feel worse. Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, drink enough water and exercise regularly. Avoid smoking or drugs, and try not to drink too much alcohol.

  6. Stick to the facts Find a credible source you can trust and fact-check information you get from newsfeeds, social media or other people. Think about how possibly inaccurate information could affect others too. Try not to share information without fact-checking against credible sources.

  7. Stay on top of difficult feelings Try to focus on the things you can control, such as your behavior, who you speak to, and where and how often you get information.

  8. Do things you enjoy If we are feeling worried, anxious or low, we might stop doing things we usually enjoy. Focusing on your favorite hobby, relaxing indoors or connecting with others can help with anxious thoughts and feelings.

  9. Focus on the present Focusing on the present, rather than worrying about the future, can help with difficult emotions and improve our wellbeing. Relaxation techniques can also help some people deal with feelings of anxiety, or you could try mindful breathing.

  10. Look after your sleep Good-quality sleep makes a big difference to how we feel mentally and physically, so it is important to get enough. Try to maintain regular sleeping patterns and keep up good sleep hygiene

I hope these links will be helpful to anyone in need of them. The college and the leadership are here to serve and help our membership. Please reach out to any of us if we can be of any assistance during these difficult times.

Article by: Ankur Patel, DO AOCOO-HNS, Vice President

Posted in Scope Summer 2020 on Jun 23, 2020