Are you wondering what more you can do to take care of yourself during the Covid-19 pandemic?
After 20 years as a public health doctor, I now work as an Executive Coach and Career Counsellor for mid-career, senior and Executive level Doctors in Leeds and internationally by Skype. Building on my intercalated degree in psychology in 1993, and my masters in health promotion 1999 (specialising in emotional wellbeing), I’ve spent the last 30 years studying, teaching, using and researching the most effective evidence-based techniques and strategies in the field of self-help and self care.
In times of crisis we don’t rise to the occasion, rather we fall to the highest level of our training: I’ve created a webpage to share some of the ‘radical self care’ tools I use with my senior medical clients in the hope that there is something here which inspires and helps you to take care of yourselves during the challenging period ahead of us. I don’t include any HR negotiations, occupational health, financial or clinical advice but other sites such as Doctors Support Network or the BMA do. I’m also not focusing on some of the more obvious self care strategies such as exercise, sleep, hydration and nutrition.
Everything I include I have used myself, and this resource is not a substitute for medical or psychological care. Please feel free to share anything with your colleagues. I will keep updating and adding to this site. If you have any feedback or anything you’d like me to add I’d love to hear how this has helped you or any suggestions to make it more useful to you at firstname.lastname@example.org
Being human means living within multiple complex, adaptive systems which are both changing and becoming more complex all the time. This means living with high levels of ambiguity and not knowing, periods of relative calm and stasis, and periods of disruption whether a ‘big bang’ or a ‘rising tide’. As humans, we all know at some level that ‘Life is like stepping into a boat that is about to sail out to sea and (at some generally unknown and unknowable point to) sink’ (adapted from Shunryu Suzuki Roshi).
There are many things we can’t control or plan for in life, however it is possible to live skilfully with uncertainty and change, and to grow our capacity for what I call ‘radical self care’. This requires a conscious commitment to gaining insight into what is really happening both inside ourselves and in the world around us. In the face of the significant period of disruption and distress ahead of us, I wish you courage and every success in your clinical care, leadership and within your own lives and your families as you navigate the unknown and unknowable territory ahead. And remember that you are not on your own, rather we are all joined by our common humanity at this time.