Building your resilience this winter

Resilience is a vital characteristic for NHS staff, especially when we find ourselves working in increasingly busy and stressful environments over the winter months, but what exactly is resilience?


The ability to face and recuperate quickly from difficult situations, remain optimistic and stay focused

Working in care is understandably an emotionally demanding role. Everyday NHS staff support their patients, and their families during some of their most challenging and vulnerable times, and while we support them through their pain, fear, loss, celebration and excitement our own emotions can often take a back burner, in order to carry out our roles and ‘get the job done’.

These emotionally charged and stressful situations can ultimately lead to stress related illnesses and feeling burnt out. This in turn could end with an increase in the amount of sickness, shift cancellation and staff resignations. In this difficult period, we want to encourage our workforce to look after their well-being, so we can continue delivering high-quality patient care up and down the country.

So, what can you do to build your resilience during the winter period? We have compiled some hints and tips to get you through the added pressures that this season brings.

  1. Talk to your colleagues – Who better to understand the job you do and the challenges you face? It’s important to talk and support each other, getting the perspective of someone who works in the same environment as you will help. Pressures shared are pressures halved.


  2. Take the time to process – If you’ve had a difficult shift take the time to process why it was difficult, try not to bottle it up.


  3. Acceptance – an important part of building resilience in the healthcare profession is to accept that there are just some situations that are out of your control.


  4. Glass half full – be optimistic that tomorrow will be a better day and that your efforts are making a real difference to your trust.


  5. Laughter is the best medicine – find the fun and laughter in situations inside, and outside of work.


  6. Enjoy your life outside of work – appreciate your down time. go out for dinner with friends, go somewhere new with the family, or just take a bit of ‘me’ time. It’s the little things that count!


  7. Focus on being flexible – variety is the spice of life, try switching up your routine

  8. Give yourself a treat every day and take the time to really enjoy it. If that means eating chocolate, then go for it – in moderation, of course!

  10. Get enough sleep – the saying ‘things will look better in the morning’ is true. Having a good night’s sleep will leave you feeling refreshed and may help you to put things into perspective.


  11. Get moving – Exercise gives you time to reflect on certain situations, relieve stress, re-focus, and will release endorphins that will help you to see things in a different light.

It’s ok to not be ok – you are not robots and every single one of us will have a day that is difficult to deal with for one reason or another. The most important thing to do is share how you’re feeling, so together we can build our resilience.