The health of the medical workforce, within the UK, has been described as an unmet public health need. Reports of stress, burnout and ill health are continuing to rise. Burnout is when meaningful and challenging work becomes unpleasant and unfulfilling; energy turns into exhaustion; enthusiasm turns into cynicism and efficacy turns into ineffectiveness. Stress is an individual’s physical and psychological response to single or multiple pressures. Low-level stress, or ‘healthy stress’, is essential. Stress becomes unhealthy when pressures exceed one’s perceived ability to cope and the response to the pressures becomes counterproductive, leading to a decrease in performance. Resilience is the capability to develop and adapt to challenges and discover new ways forward, without negative consequences on one’s well-being. This paper discusses stress and burnout within the healthcare profession; strategies to cope with the demands of the workplace through a reflective scenario, along with well-being and mindfulness resources for managing stress and promoting resilience. The five ways to well-being and mindfulness practice are simple measures that can be built into one’s daily life to increase resilience against excess stress and pressures. The coping matrix is a practical tool to encourage reflecting upon and developing one’s own coping strategies. A good healthcare professional is one who is compassionate to themselves and their own well-being, enabling them to care and treat their patients.
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Contributors SS suggested the idea for publication and co-wrote the article with EN.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.