Top Ten Tips for Doctors in Need of Support Right Now.

It is hard for us as Doctors to reach out for support in tough times for many reasons. Try some of these tips to make it easier for you to do as support is always valuable, it can prevent you burning out and it can help you thrive again.

1)    Acknowledge that you are human and reassure yourself that it’s ok not to be ok.  Being perfectly imperfect is ok. This is the first step in being compassionate with yourself.

2)    Remember that we are not meant to do this alone- support is always valuable.  We as human beings are wired for connection and connecting with others is vital to our wellbeing.

3)    Give yourself permission to reach out and share you are struggling with a valued colleague/friend/partner/your GP.  Only share with someone you trust, and you know will hold space for you. Someone who will listen without judgement and offer you time and space to share how you are feeling.  Someone who has earned the right to hear this part of your story. They can only help if they are aware that you are struggling -they are not mind-readers!

4)    Take some time to repare for your courageous conversation with your chosen colleague/partner/friend/Occupational Health/GP.  What do you want to say to them?  What do you want them to know?

5)    Share your truth with kindness and clarity. Gently remind yourself that wonderful things can happen when you share your truth.

6)    Whilst you are struggling, gently ask yourself “What do I need right now?” and “What would I say to my best friend if they were struggling the way I am right now?”.  These questions activate your inner self-caregiver, the self-compassionate part of yourself. If you listen hard enough to yourself, you know what you will need. Ask these questions often so that self-compassion becomes part of your wellbeing toolkit.

7)    Depending on what you are struggling with, know that support is available out there for DR’s- Go to the BMA, PHP website GP, Occupational Health,

8)    Whatever you are struggling with, help is out there.

50% of Doctors find it hard to admit that they are struggling and reach out for help. The hardest part is taking the first step to reach out for help, so set a time to arrange that appointment with your GP, to ring the BMA, to self-refer to PHP, to book a free discovery call with me (as coaching is the perfect medicine). Give yourself permission to take this first step to prioritise your health and wellbeing.  Your wellbeing matters.  You matter. You can’t pour from an empty cup and taking that first step to reach out for help is both urgent and important.

9)    Be aware that you may need some time off if you are not fit to practice. Permission for you to do so may come from work colleagues, occupational health, PHP, your GP or perhaps yourself.  If you feel guilty about the thought of having time off, this is completely normal and shows that you have a conscience and a kind heart.  Time off is essential for your healing and your recovery.

10) All the above take much courage. As Brené Brown says “you can choose courage, or you can choose comfort.  You can’t choose both”.  So, today choose courage over comfort and reach out for help.

🤔 What wonderful things might happen if you do reach out for help today?

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