Stress and Burnout

Recognising the psychological impact of lockdown

It was week two of facing one of my greatest obstacles, a task so seamless to others, as simple as blinking or breathing. Not that I found either simple in this moment; I notice my blinking is rapid and my breathing is tense, fast, shallow. This familiar and yet...

Returning to work: managing that sinking feeling.

It isn't called a sinking feeling for nothing. It feels like you're in a lift, plummeting down the outside of a skyscraper, out of control, hurtling towards the inevitable. Your stomach is like a washing machine on fast spin, and the dread, deep in your soul, is...

Repulsed by cruelty

“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me.” I was taught to say this at school if called a name – and I did, when I was. Even before I began to be a spectacles wearer – not a cool look in 1978 – I was singled out for being small, skinny and...

Reckoning day is here: let us harness the self care agenda for the collective good.

Flicking idly through a glossy, fashion magazine a headline grabs my attention: “A band-aid for bullet wounds: is the self-care craze doing more harm than good?” I am intrigued, partly because I am facing my own conundrums in a work context about whose responsibility...
Respecting the self

Respecting the self

“One runs away to find oneself, and finds no one at home.” Joan Didion. Stress, burnout, moral injury. These are words that occupy time and space in much of what we read at the moment. Whilst there appears to be an epidemic of workplace distress in every...

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Revitalisation – squeezing the juice.

Revitalisation – squeezing the juice.

What do you do after a magical day? I am like a little squirrel with a nut, cocooning myself away from reality and holding tight to my nut, polishing it and guarding it, treasuring the memories, reliving them. If anticipation is half the journey, then reflecting back...

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Re-building: the bridge out of the swamp

Re-building: the bridge out of the swamp

In a recent twitter exchange two professors discussed ways of dealing with negative workplace attitudes. Professor Alison Leary said: “I…have learned to walk away….from disrespect… tokenism… aggression… wasting energy and time.” Professor Trish Greenhalgh referred to...

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Revisiting: the burnout debate

Revisiting: the burnout debate

In the furthest corner of the darkest café I could find, I holed up. Put my hands round my cup, pretending it was me and they would shield me from the outside, keep me warm for as long as it would take before I could get up the courage to leave here and head home....

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Re-vealing:what really causes burnout?

Re-vealing:what really causes burnout?

Recent tweets by the police have been interesting, claiming that it is PTSD – recognised or not – following the witnessing of some pretty horrendous scenes that causes burnout over a period of time. Similarly in medicine some people believe that being party to...

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Reminding myself: what really matters.

Reminding myself: what really matters.

The sky is huge here. It stretches, dome-like, as far as I can see, protective yet offering escape to I know not what. Where it meets the sea I have to focus on the horizon, straining to tell which is sky, which is sea. Both a pale blue today, both far out...

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