Doctors have become the new version of our knight in shining armours to battle the pandemic.
By Arouba Kabir
National Doctors Day: Doctors have become the new version of our knight in shining armours to battle the pandemic. While they take care of our entire country, we seldom think about their holistic care which includes their mental health. Working in an environment where people are constantly suffering from innumerable ailments can trigger stress, anxiety, fear, depression and a feeling of hopelessness. Add to that the answerability to the family and government creates added pressure to get things right.
Being mindful and still giving out hope to the patients so they recover faster can prove easier said than done. In the current pandemic situation, the ever increasing numbers of corona cases seems directly proportional to the disturbed mental health of doctors due to the increased working hours, Suffocating PPE suits-making it impossible to use the toilets, lack of circulation, effects on skin, increased risk of infection – are just the tip of the iceberg adding to the agony.
Recently there have been reports from various parts of the country that medical staff harass people. Many healthcare workers have also been asked to leave their rented accommodations either by the landlords or by the people living in their societies. This lack of support, humanity and gratitude kills the kindness and willingness to help and has an effect on behaviour, dedication, determination and drive to save the country.
It’s important we all become a part of the process in improving these prevailing conditions by providing better safety equipment, organizing de-stressing programmes especially designed for healthcare workers to increase motivation, help them unload mentally and restoring peace and improvising productivity and calmness.
As a healthcare provider, talking to fellow doctors develops a sense of belongingness and reinforces confidence in the cause you are working for.
Start indulging in physical activities like going for a 10 minute stroll or yoga or breathing exercises, it can help regain energy and peace and is a good way to take a break from the depressing atmosphere. Keep a family photo or a token of love close which can help feel loved, warm and hopeful.
Some easy quick tips at work can be to:
1. Rub your hands together for 30 secs to a minute and squeeze the tips of your thumb and forefinger together.
2. Display photos and images that make you feel happy. Throw open the curtains and let in natural light.
3. Focus on your breathing.
4. Drink plenty of water and eat small, nutritious snacks. Hunger and dehydration, even before you’re aware of them, can provoke aggressiveness and exacerbate feelings of anxiety and stress.
5. Try a quick meditation or prayer to get some perspective.
6. Practice positive self-talk every day — in the car, at your desk, before entering the workspace, anywhere and anytime. Try replacing “I can’t do this.” with “I’ll do the best I can. I’ve got this.”
7. Get proper sleep so your mind is well rested.
In the end, it’s important to recognize the basic humanity amongst ourselves and regardless of all parameters- recognize these heroes and help them in our own ways.
(The author is Mental Health Therapist/Counsellor and Founder – Enso wellness. Views are personal.)