Supporting Staff through Covid-19
We are aware that for many of Team NUH, this is a worrying and stressful time. As the Staff Wellbeing Team, we want to support you as best we can in getting through this time of uncertainty. This page will provide all the latest support and guidance both at NUH and in the community and will be updated regularly.
Self-care is critical during this time. You cannot look after others unless you are taking good care of yourself. Remember that self-care isn't selfish, it is absolutely essential if we want to do our jobs well. We have put together a self-care poster which you may find beneficial:
Support at NUH
Firstly, our EAP service 'Health Assured' , is geared up with extra resources and is fully committed to continuing to support our staff via the telephone helpline (0800 783 2808). Counselling is still available through the service and can be delivered by telephone, online or video conferencing. Do not suffer in silence. If you need to talk, please talk to someone.
- We have had lots of staff contact us with a range of concerns so thought it would be helpful to put together a FAQ's page:
If your question still isn't answered, do not hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
- We are working hard to put some online workshops together so you can access them remotely. We will share further information about this once they are finished.
- Quiet spaces - there are quiet spaces available at both City and QMC. It is so important to take your breaks where possible and if you can have a moment of quiet. Have a look at our 'Quiet Maps' to find your closest location. 3D City Wellbeing Locations.pdf [pdf] 652KB 3D QMC Wellbeing Locations.pdf [pdf] 358KB
During times of mental stress or worry, it's important more than ever to look after our physical health. Here are some top tips:
- Eating Healthy - it's so easy to turn to the 'treat' cupboard when we are looking for comfort in food, so try and avoid buying extra treats. Instead, stock your kitchen with healthy snacks that take minimal prep e.g. fruit, cheese and crackers, peanut butter, nuts, veg sticks and dips such as hummous, avocado etc.
- Meal prep is ESSENTIAL - especially if you are working long shifts. Try and plan your meals in advance so you know exactly what you are going to eat for that week. If you can do lots of batch cooking and store in the freezer so when you get home from work you don't even have to think about what to eat.
- Our Dietitian has put together a list of recipe ideas here Meal Ideas.pdf [pdf] 214KB . Remember to batch cook wherever possible and feel free to swap items with whatever the shops have available.
- The Restaurants at QMC and City are now both open 24/7 so you can buy a hot meal at work any time of the day. They will also be selling some essential household goods. Please take your card to pay.
- Exercise - there are lots of online resources available to help you keep fit and active. This really will help your mental wellbeing. If you're working from home, try to do some exercise everyday to keep your brain ticking over. If you are physically at work, then try to balance rest with some exercise on the days you aren't working. Some recommendations are:
- PE with Joe - https://www.youtube.com/user/thebodycoach1 30 minute workouts Monday - Friday at 9am (although also available to use on catch up). A great HIT workout to get those endorphines released.
- FIIT - an app with over 500 workouts available ranging from Yoga to high intensity workouts. NHS Staff can now access 3 months for free (usually £45). To use this offer, go to getfiit.tv/nhs and fill out the short form. You will need to enter your NHS work address. Your membership will be activated by us within 48 hours, you'll receive an email once it's live!
- Yoga with Adriene - https://www.youtube.com/user/yogawithadriene a great relaxing workout to stretch out muscles and release tension.
Try the Staff Wellbeing 30 day physical activity plan to keep yourself active, improve your fitness and support your mental wellbeing
- Headspace - this is a brilliant minfulness/meditation app which has strong scientific evidence behind it to reduce anxiety and stress levels. There are also specific medications for things like sleep, work, relationships etc. NUH staff can now access this for FREE for the next 3 months. Visit work.headspace.com to sign up.The offer is available until December 2020.
- Unmind - offers online mental health support. You just need to visit Home.unmind.com and click the free NHS access sign up button at the top of the page. It takes you to a registration page - if you click on the box which says nhs.net it will give you drop down options- @nuh.nhs.uk is there.
- Sleepio - is an effective online CBT programme to help with quality of sleep. Visit sleepio.com/access to register.
- Daylight - is an app that will teach you ways to manage the negative emotions in your life to help deal with worry and anxiety. Click trydaylight.com/access and create an account following the instructions on the page.
- You may also find this video helpful: Face Covid- How to Respond Effectively to the Corona Crisis
Top Tips for Working at Home
Although working from home might feel less stressful, it can still impact on your wellbeing so we would encourage you to make sure you do your best to look after yourselves wherever you are working.
- Try to set up your workstation as best as you can so that you are sitting in a good position, at a table rather than slouched on the sofa and with plenty of light. Consider elevating your laptop up on some boxes, and if possible plug in/Bluetooth a separate keyboard to allow you to sit and work more comfortably, use a mouse rather than square pad on the lap top. Also use the speaker phone function on mobile/phone for calls to reduce strain on neck/arm etc if you are making lots of calls. The key thing is to keep moving and avoid any posture for prolonged periods of time, particularly if it’s an uncomfortable one. Make it as best as it can be, but move regularly and report problems early to managers for support.
- Remember to check in with your colleagues/manager regularly to maintain contact – speaking is better than email or text even if just to say hello and talk about how you are.
- Make sure you take breaks during the day and get some fresh air and activity – it’s much easier to work for longer hours and not leave the building when working from home or to be really static.
- Try to have some healthy snacks readily available. It can be more tempting to snack your way through the day. Avoid unhealthy snacks such as biscuits and chocolates (which may make you feel more sluggish) and have some fruit, veggie sticks, nuts available to keep you going.
- Ensure you are still staying fully hydrated. It can be easy to drink more cups of tea and coffee but try to use your water bottle in the same way you would at work and take regular sips of water throughout the day.