Spotlight on self-care

My name is Dr Alex Lai - F5 wellbeing lead, and I wanted to share my top tips on sustaining your wellbeing throughout your GP career. 

Wellbeing tips

  1. Celebrate every lesson learnt, achievement and win.
  2. Tap into your local peer networks - they’ll be your lifeline for continued education, information, and support. (CCG-ICS mailing lists, your LMC, your local faculty and training hub are a great start).
  3. Given the challenging time you’ve trained and qualified in, one of the many things that can be beneficial is getting a mentor. You can find out more about the RCGP mentoring scheme.
  4. Pandemic exhaustion is to be expected, be kind to yourself and take time to reflect. Rest and remember, if you’re struggling or need more support, please don’t hesitate to ask for help.

Free Services

There are free services available to support doctor's mental health and wellbeing which you, your friends or your colleagues might find beneficial:

If you’re struggling, you can get in touch with the Practitioner Health Programme. It’s a free, confidential NHS primary care mental health and addiction service with expertise in treating health and care professionals. The service can help with a range of mild to severe mental health conditions and addictions in primary care settings, and diagnoses like ADHD.

As an NHS worker you can access free counselling through your email with Duty To Care.

If you need some positivity, you can call Hopeline19 on 0808 19 665 19 for free, to hear a message of gratitude from members of the public.

There are also weekly supportive huddles for doctors, facilitated by a psychotherapist via You Okay Doc where you can discuss any difficulties you may be facing.

About the writer

I signpost to further tips and resources on my social media @dralexlai - feel free to get in touch with me if you need any extra support.