I’ve got your back, do you have mine?

It’s really been a long time, hasn’t it? Over the last year or so, every time my notification for my subscription comes up for renewal. I have toyed with the idea of cancelling and deleting this blog. Not because I don’t enjoy writing (I have a lot of ideas all the time) I can honestly say it’s due to me being the most inconsistent person with these types of things. If I’m being perfectly honest with a lot of things. That’s my friends, is for me and my therapist to figure out.

So here we are, here you are on my little corner of the internet again reading my thought and hopefully giving a helping hand, a word of encouragement or a little laugh. Or simply a distraction. Whatever the reason, thank you for taking the time away

The last few weeks have been very strange, slightly “spiralling plot in a film you love to hate” you know the ones. The ones they put on channel 5 on a weekday afternoon.

Yep that flipping COVID-19- CORONA, MS RONA, COCO, COROCORO, RONIE, she who shall not be named. I honestly could go on and on lol but I digress (If you a new this is the only consistent theme to my writing)

From the moment the word pandemic was dropped on us by WHO. We knew shit just got VERY REAL. It was also a sudden but subtle realisation for a lot of health care professionals’ things were about to change. No ifs buts or maybes about it.

HOW?? I guess we’re still waiting to find out how this will change. The one that that is likely to stay the same is the need for a lot of us to keep on keeping on. It’s hard right, yeah, I know Hun.  Not quite sure that realisation has hint may people but only time will tell, I bloody hope that maybe the clocks going forward may help speed that realisation up

I also understand we’ve never been here before, this new dread this anxiety this overwhelming feeling of impending doom. For a lot of us with anxiety and depression. This is just a regular day in our heads. For a lot this is a new, hopefully short-lived.

AND, no I’m not here to scaremonger or provoke. I’m just being honest it’s what a lot of us have been feeling, will feel. As nurses, not something we do very well! Talk about the things in our job that scare us. The other feelings we have not them. I love my job, I love having such a great impact, I’m so happy to help. The darker side, the thoughts that catch us in dead of the night whilst we lay awake mulling over the shift. The few minutes before you turn your car engine off after your drive home. The lingering thoughts that lessen your awareness and you almost miss your stop off the bus. YEP me too lovely.

As health care professionals. Patient-centred care is the epitome of what we do, it’s never really been thought there would become a time where even that could be the thing that sends us to our sick beds however small or large the percentage may be. The thought is very sobering of us all

What we do have however is each other. NHS, private, clinical or not.

Don’t get me wrong I’m not into pretending that at times the profession hasn’t been a little cliquey a bit isolating and hard on our mental health. But we are one of the largest workforces in the country! POINT BLANK PERIOD and that means that we are all going to be needing to lean on each other a little bit more. YES, ALL OF US, YEAH THAT’S WHAT I SAID EVEN THEM. WE HAVE TO HAVE EACH OTHERS’ BACKS

As students we’ve always been told to ask for help, to seek advice when needed. How important the debriefing is on the hard days and advocates all of this for our students. All those gold nuggets as My old colleague Helen would call them. You know the ones, the useful snippets of information that last you a career and some. They are more valuable now than ever before.

For a lot of us, this will trigger our mental health big style. so here a few things Id like to share they may be completely useless to a lot of you. To a few many be just the helping hand you need.

To the those returning to the wards after nonclinical roles or other vital services: – Thanks I from experience know that jumping back into ward life after moving to a different setting can be daunting. You don’t want to be a burden, although you want to help. You think you will be slow on the uptake, not wanting to make a mistake. What matters is your experience, your willingness to help get stuck in where needed. Your comradery! All those things matter and so do your thoughts and feelings. If you don’t feel able to speak up

To those returning to service: – whatever your reason for leaving, returning is voluntary. It doesn’t make you a bad person if returning will make situations worse in the grand scheme of things. Thank you for your service. Those that will and are happy to do so thank you and welcome back. We appreciate everything you do and however much you can offer.

To the frontline staff: – The words we speak and the gifts we offer will never be enough!

To the rest of the health care team: – Many hands make light work, some including yourselves may have looked on the work that you do as inconsequential. It NEVER has been or never will be. We are all cogs and without one peace, then the whole ting lock arrff (sorry I couldn’t resist LOL)

To those isolating away from their family to work: – your dedication knows no bounds, your family have really been blessed and we are to call you our colleague.

To the rest of us: WE really are all in this together. Everyone has a part to play. IF we all do OUR bit.

IT WILL MAKE A BLOODY DIFFERENCE.

Your days off: – They are exactly that, YOURS to do so as you see fit. IF you can help and do extra shifts that, fantastic. If you can’t stay home, rest recharge and go again.

Find ways to wind down and destress: – my previous job was very hectic and at times emotionally draining.  I decided that I needed a hobby. I tried jigsaws, love them. Couldn’t find a piece and it nearly tipped me over the edge lol

A former colleague of mine has decided to take up painting by numbers there is literally something creative even for those of us who still can only draw stick people

Journaling:- my lovely friend Sinead has always been the biggest advocate for this and after trying it I can honestly see why. Sometimes it feels like the thoughts are just constantly swimming around our heads. Like fish in a small tank. Get them out, let them escape on to the paper. It does help. Not the fish!! Your thoughts.

My way, I started this blog as a release and I also have a food page https://www.instagram.com/whatsheseaten/ which if you’re a food lover like me you should most definitely check out. For a little isolation fun, I will be going live on Instagram Saturday (28th) evening if people join in. For a game or two of bingo. I will be your lovely bingo caller. Each card is £2 (currently) and the proceeds will go to buying vouchers to some of the best local/indie eateries and the other small businesses. I know to help support them in these times. If you’re interested, please drop me an email whatsheseaten@hotmail.com and I will send you a payment link and a pdf of your bingo card once paid for you to download and print, ready the live. Then all you to do is sit at home with your snack and play along. Fingers crossed and you may win some post rona treats.

TO the non-health care professionals of you reading

Wash your hands, take some vitamins, exercise work-life balance working from home

AND MOST IMPORTANTLY

AS MY MUM WOULD SAY “STAY YA ARSE INSIDE”

Some useful links

https://www.nmc.org.uk/news/coronavirus/

https://laurahydefoundation.org/

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