Wellbeing & COVID-19

 Many are people are dealing with added stress at this time, whether its caring for children or older adults in your bubble, dealing with changes to your business and staff, managing additional pressures from clients, and having to make tough professional decisions.

Many of these things are out of our control and these extra demands can feel overwhelming at times. Anxiety and worry is a normal human reaction. However, doing what we can do on a daily basis, following the guidelines regarding isolation and finding ways to manage worry and stress will help.

What can we do?

It is useful to come up with a plan to help you build resilience and regain control over the situation. We will not be able to manage our current challenges perfectly, but together we can strive each day to manage them better.

Here are some useful tips to boost your wellbeing and help support your people:

  Focus on what you can do  A lot of things are out of our control right now and we cannot control the future. DO what you can on a daily basis, remembering that keeping ourselves and others safe is the main task. We CAN choose to act based on what is important to us, and more importantly, who is important to us. 

   Stay connected  Take time to talk and ask how people are, video chat, telephone calls work best, spend time with your whānau.

   Make health a priority  Start a new routine, get good sleep, get up at the same time everyday, eat good food, take a break from screens, get outside for exercise, encourage your people to do the same.

   Be flexible  Things will continue to change, be clear on what your priorities are be flexible about how these will be achieve.

If you are feeling overwhelmed

  • Talk to your whānau and connect with your friends over the phone or online, these people care about you and want to support you.
  • Work with someone, a counsellor, a therapist, or another mental health professional who can help you deal with your feelings. Talking to someone can be useful, and this can help you identify your skills and strengths to help cope. (Vitae is free for all veterinarians).
  • Stressful events will happen, and you cannot control them, but you can control how you will respond to these events. Try focusing on the future, this situation will pass eventually, and you will be in a different place.
  • Stay focused in your goals. Instead of focusing on things that may seem unachievable, do something regularly - no matter how small it may seem - that moves you closer to your goals.
  • Take action. Act on adverse situations as much as you can. Take decisive actions, rather than ignoring the problems and situations completely and wishing they would just go away.
  • Think positively about yourself. Be confident in your ability to solve problems, trust yourself.
  • Take care of yourself. Pay attention to your own needs and feelings.

Resources and support

This experience can be distressful and challenging. Remember it is not unusual to feel this way. You are not alone, there are different organisations you can connect with that can support you in different ways:

  • Vitae : free confidential counselling to all veterinarians
  • Minimising Anxiety and Burnout : developed by Bridey White, Massey University School of Veterinary Science, this document provides strategies that could be helpful to all veterinarians.
  • Mental Health Foundation: more tips and tricks and practical advice about how to support others through covid-19 and get support when needed.
  • Skylight Counselling and Resources: support and resources for you, your friends, your family and work colleagues.
  • Citizen Advice Bureau: a free service that helps people know and understand their rights and obligations and how to use the information to get the best outcomes.
  • Work and Income: access to different benefits you can apply for and your staff can apply for when times are hard.
  • Dr Jud Brewer is producing daily videos dealing with COVID-19 and anxiety, see the first of these below: