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COVID-19 Supporting Doctors: Great expectations? Why We Expect Too Much of Ourselves and How to Give Ourselves a Break with Dr Caroline Walker and Dr Rachel Morris
Episode 335th May 2020 • You Are Not A Frog • Dr Rachel Morris
00:00:00 00:39:20

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In this episode of the podcast, Rachel is joined again by Dr Caroline Walker – The Joyful Doctor. Caroline is a Psychiatrist, therapist, specialist in the wellbeing of doctors and host of The Joyful Doctor Podcast.

This is the fourth in a new series of podcast episodes and videos – COVID-19 Supporting Doctors.

In these very difficult times, Caroline and Rachel are working together to bring you as much support as they can. We’ll be tackling various different topics as they emerge in order to help doctors keep their head in the game and stay focussed and resilient. 

In this episode, we talk about the unrealistic expectations we have of ourselves right now. Perhaps we think we should be doing more to help? Improving ourselves? Doing that CPD we’ve never got round to doing? Spring cleaning the house or making our garden perfect? Yet many of us are finding that we’re just not able to do all this right now and our productivity seems to be lower than we’d like.

This is OK.

We need to adjust our expectations of ourselves (rather than ‘lower’ them)

As doctors, we are so often driven by our need to ‘do’ and our need to help. We judge our worth by what we’ve achieved and so when we feel uncomfortable emotions such as anxiety or sadness we turn quickly to action to ‘fix’ the problem. 

Caroline and Rachel chat about the need for self-compassion and about how to recognise the emotions we are feeling. We discuss the vital question we need to ask ourselves ‘What do I need right now’ and also chat about how we can find it hard to receive help and compassion from others. 

Doctors – we need you more than ever. Keep up the good work. Keep your heads. Keep caring. 

Contact Rachel – Twitter - @DrRachel Morris

Contact Caroline – Twitter @joyful_doctor

We are sending out a weekly email with new resources, tips and useful content especially for doctors and healthcare professionals throughout the COVID-19 crisis. If you’d like to receive this and other resources about thriving at work then please sign up here

You can watch this podcast episode on YouTube here 

Podcast links

Get the COVID Team Wellbeing Toolkit which includes instructions on how to run a team check in chat here

24 hour support for NHS staff: Call 0300 131 7000 between 7am and 11pm or text FRONTLINE to 85258 24/7.

Coronavirus wellbeing support for doctors Facebook group

The Joyful Doctor Website 

Shapes for Doctors Website

You Are Not A Frog website 

The Happiness Trap: Stop Struggling, Start Living by Russ Harris

BMA Wellbeing Service 

The NHS Practitioner Health Programme

Sign up for downloadable CPD reflection forms plus more tools and resources

For more episodes of You are not a frog, check out our website You Are Not A Frog podcasts

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