Five ways to build your resilience

Linda Hindle, Lead Allied Health Professional at Public Health England, gives her tips on wellbeing for radiographers

Published: 08 March 2021 Wellbeing

As we move into the second year of the pandemic, many of us will be reflecting on our personal strategies to maintain resilience and wellbeing.

Across the population, resilience has been relatively high during the pandemic. However, as the longevity of the pandemic increases and fatigue sets in, the ability to adopt and maintain coping strategies may be becoming more challenging. 

Evidence also tells us that those in caring roles often wait until they are very unwell before seeking help. That is why it is so important to do what we can to look after our mental and physical health and wellbeing – now more than ever – and to reach out if you need support.  

As part of an article for the forthcoming edition of the SCoR’s Imaging and Oncology publication, I have collated evidence-based approaches to maintain health and wellbeing during the pandemic. Below I have picked out five of those approaches that you and your colleagues could think about now, and which you could discuss further as a way of identifying other methods of coping that might help you as individuals or as a team.

  1. Think about when you will take time to rest.  Plan your annual leave early so you have time to take a break and re-charge your batteries.  Schedule breaks during the day when you can.
  2. Healthcare professionals are offered and encouraged to have flu and COVID-19 vaccinations.  This year it is more important to protect ourselves, our families and our patients: don’t forget to book yours.
  3. Look after your mental wellbeing and that of your colleagues.  It is normal to feel worried, scared or helpless about the current situation, especially if you are over-tired. Share your concerns with others you trust; doing so may help them too.  Notice how your colleagues are and take time to talk.
  4. In a crisis, we do our best with the information and resources we have available.  The pace of work combined with virtual working environments can impact on working relationships, so it is important to remember everyone is doing their best and avoid putting unnecessary pressure on yourself and your colleagues.  Don’t be afraid to accept help if offered and ask for help if needed.
  5. 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 behaviour that end up making you feel worse.  Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, drink enough water and exercise regularly.

Thank you for everything you are doing for others.  Your role has been – and will be – invaluable. However, you can only continue to help others if you look after yourself, so consider this part of your professional duty and not just a ‘nice to do’.