A Johnson & Johnson Institute webinar for EMEA healthcare providers shared strategies for recovering and growing from stress and building resiliency.
Stress has always been part of the job for healthcare providers (HCPs). But the unprecedented challenges of the coronavirus pandemic calls for a greater focus on the wellbeing of those who care for others. The Johnson & Johnson Institute is collaborating with the Human Performance Institute (HPI) to offer education and training on how to leverage stress to build resiliency during these uncertain times.
Raphaela O’Day, Ph.D., a performance coach and behavior change expert with HPI, recently conducted a webinar for HCPs in EMEA about redefining stress for personal growth and performance. Here she shares some highlights from the program:
What is resiliency, and why is it important?
At HPI, we define resilience as the acquired ability to regularly recover, adapt, and grow from stress. We don’t believe resiliency is necessarily a personality trait. We see it as a muscle that can be trained and strengthened over time. Doctors and nurses must deal with a massive variety of stress factors. Resilience can help protect their own mental and physical health and help ensure they can deliver optimal care to patients.
How do stress and resiliency work together?
Although we often think of stress as something we must avoid, one component of the HPI approach is to help individuals recognize that not all stress is bad. When we interpret stress as something that we can grow from -- rather than something that only harms us -- we tend to have improved ability to manage stress, enhance performance, and increase wellbeing. We are remembering how the challenging work of caring for patients supports a sense of purpose and finding opportunities to reflect on how caring for patients helps us grow as people and can be an active part of building resilience.
What are some practical things we can do to recover from stress and grow our resilience?
One key is to figure out how to alternate times of stress with periods of crucial recovery. Focus on building recovery tactics into your day. Rather than waiting until the end of your shift, consider micro-recovery opportunities such as a text or statement of gratitude to a patient or colleague, friend, or loved one. During your breaks, listen to a favorite song, get outside into nature, or reflect on how your work connects to what matters most in your life.
Meditation has also been shown to be active, and utilizing mediation apps can be useful ways to get started. Finding simple ways to create calm – including taking a few mindful deep breaths throughout your day – can help strategies at the moment.
Remember to include the basics of self-care, including frequent movement, exercise, right quantity and quality of sleep, and healthy meals and snacking as a source of sustainable energy throughout the day.
Remember that resilience is built through the regular and consistent behaviors that help us to recover and grow from stress.
© Johnson & Johnson Services, Inc. 2020. All rights reserved. 146123-200709