Four wellbeing tips for healthcare workers

Psychologist and Manager of Workforce Wellness Programs, Maria Di Pietro shares four wellbeing tips to help get us through the pandemic.

Maria explains that with the reintroduction of stage 3 restrictions in Victoria, we may be feeling a little more frustrated and exhausted.

“It’s so important that we continue implementing our coping strategies,” Maria said.

1. Accept your feelings and focus on what you can control

“You’re not alone in feeling frustrated, angry, tired, scared or worried. It’s to be expected that we’ll all experience some kind of reaction to the current situation,” Maria said.

“It helps to take a moment to acknowledge your feelings. This is a good first step to avoiding prolonged negative feelings, managing your emotions and getting control over how you react.

“Go easy on yourself, and be kind to your co-workers, patients, friends and family, especially your children. It’s a difficult time for everyone.

“Difficult as this sounds you can’t control the situation, but you can control how you react to it,” she said.

2.  Give your brain a rest

As a healthcare worker, coronavirus is an unavoidable topic and a part of the job. Maria said this may contribute to feeling fatigued, overwhelmed and overloaded.

Maria suggests finding ways to give your brain a rest.

“Give yourself a break from news and social media, connect with friends, watch your favourite shows and movies, listen to inspiring podcasts and music. Any activity that brings a sense of enjoyment is going to relax your brain,”Maria said.

“It’s about doing something that takes your mind off coronavirus and the pandemic; Bake, exercise, knit, garden, read, do puzzles, play games, draw.”

3. Find positives in the situation

“During the first lock-down a lot of people reported how they managed to find positives within the situation. They turned the negative experience into opportunities. They enjoyed the slower pace of life, strengthening their connection with family, learnt new skills, did activities they never had time for and cleaned their houses!”

Maria suggests thinking about how you can continue these opportunities and find more.  

4. Seek support

“If you realise you’re struggling with your emotions, wellbeing or mental health, please reach out for support. You can talk to your manager, access EAP (free counselling service) and check-out the Staff Wellness page on the SharePoint site for more resources,” Maria said.

“I want staff to know that they can also speak to our EAP if they’re having financial, legal, or domestic violence issues. It is completely confidential and free to all Austin Health staff and their families.”

Support is always available: