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Developing Resilience at Work

You are in control of your own resilience and wellbeing at work

Written by Dr Dee Gray · Monday 24th September 2018

There is increasing attention being paid to the wellbeing of NHS staff, for example professional bodies such as the Royal College of Physicians and the Kings Fund are stating that if we don't look after our staff then not only do they suffer, but because of the recursive link between stress and error causation, so does patient care.  We have heaps of evidence that clearly states that working conditions that do not allow for 'recovery' contribute to physical, mental and emotional ill health, we also know of the financial cost to the NHS that this brings (around 555 billion per year). Despite the significance of what we know we have a system of work that actually contributes to and creates the conditions for illhealth in the NHS workforce. Given the actual and proposed cuts to the NHS, the NHS system of work is likely to become a more toxic place to be.

 If it appears that we seem to be lacking in sufficient leadership momentum to change the system of work then what can you do right now to improve the conditions you work in, and those of your colleagues? Don't wait for someone else to make it better for you, you may be waiting a long time for changes to be made and for them to take effect, in the meantime you have to make it better for yourself.

So what small change can you make? What is within your control? I know there will be something, even in the most demanding, exhausting, frustrating environment there is something you can do,  and it is there where you start. Believing in yourself is part of having a resilient mindset, if you can develop this you are on your way to making your working life a whole lot better.

So, what food are you eating, how are you sleeping, what exercise are you taking, who are you talking to, what are you doing with your time 'off'? Build slowly and gain the help of your colleagues, remember your working life/career is a marathon so like any disciplined athlete you have to make sure you reach the finish line. Your resilience will be challenged all throughout your working life, but you can strengthen it by making sure you have recovery time, and, by acting on what is within your control right now.