Well-being micro-practices for professionals during COVID-19

Authors of this paper published on Tuesday suggest evidence-based actionable tools that require minutes to do:

Take a moment: 

When: 

Use everyday work activities (hand-washing, waiting on computer to load, bathroom breaks) and home activities (brushing teeth, anything done regularly)

How: 

Mindfulness: focus on the breath, center the mind and body, imagine the kind of presence, empathy and calm you’d like to bring to the next consultation and the next moments.  Check-in with how you feel - are you hungry/thirsty/anxious?

Deep breaths: diaphragmatic deep breathing through the nose at rate of 6-8 breaths per min. Inhale for a count of 5 seconds, pause then exhale for the same time. Shown to reduce physiological signs of stress.


'Name-it-to-tame-it': 

At times of high emotion - what specifically is the emotion you are feeling? Move beyond ‘upset’ to more specific terms. Correctly identifying the feeling has been shown to help higher order thinking.


Write down three things you are grateful for several times a week

Survival instincts bias thinking towards negatives (threat, risk), this activity helps shift the focus and has been shown to increase positive emotions.

References

Fessell D, Cherniss C. COVID-19 & Beyond: Micro-practices for Burnout Prevention and Emotional Wellness. J Am Coll Radiol. 2020 Mar 23. pii: S1546-1440(20)30290-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jacr.2020.03.013. [Epub ahead of print]

This post was written by Dr Rachel Coles on 26th March 2020

With queries please contact covid@medshr.net

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