• How To Stay Positive During Uncertain Times

    Time to go a little off topic here, but trust me…everything I suggest here today you can transfer from your personal life into your working life, and vice versa. And I’ll admit, if you had told me a year ago I’d be writing an article titled How To Stay Positive During Uncertain Times, I’d be hard pressed to believe you – but here we are, facing the tailend of 2020 and still dealing with the global pandemic that is COVID-19.

    Our way of life has changed, and to be honest I don’t think it will ever return to what was, back then, normal. The new normal is now us, as human beings, being much more aware of hygiene practices, social distancing as well as cold and flu etiquette amongst other things. And yes, fear is still running rampant, which can lead to mental negativity and entering internal dark spaces.

    Fortunately, we can overcome those demons and fight our uncertainties so long as we surround ourselves with the right community, a hint of stability and as much positivity as possible. Here are my top 5 suggestions on how to stay positive during these uncertain times – they certainly worked for me, both at the practice and at home.

    Clear Mindset

    To be real, there’s no sure fire way to get rid of stress altogether, but letting it built up and consume you can lead to a meltdown. Having a clear mind is both healthy and productive, and there are a few ways you can do this.

    Talking to a friend or family member is top on my list, but then there are more private ways to clear the mind too, like reading a great book or writing down your thoughts in a journal. Perhaps the best way you like to ‘go blank’ is by hitting the gym or going for a run (following any state restrictions, of course). Some might even go the other way around, with meditation or literally taking a hike along a nature trail.

    Staying Organised

    Once you do something that will help your mindset clear up a bit, you’ll allow for more clear thinking to maintain a productive day at work or at home. I’m by far the last person who always has it together, because there are definitely days when everything is a big, mad rush and I feel frazzled. But there are some organisational tricks I lean on to help me stay sane so I can concentrate on getting things done.

    For instance, I live by my calendar – especially at the medical practice. This is without a doubt the most organised technique for me and it may sound rigid, but following my calendar gives me a sense of freedom – I don’t have to worry if I’m forgetting something. I’m also a fan of keeping a to-do-list and staying on top of my priorities, which in turn kind of reflects on my use of the calendar.

    Keeping my workspace or home office clean is another top tip; everything has its place, and when my desk is tidy, I feel like I have regained control. The decluttering process helps me declutter my head too.

    Communication Is Key

    Stress can manifest its way through communication. What I mean is, those who feel anxious become easily frustrated or angry, and this can have a negative effect on their communication skills. As mentioned earlier, talking it out can be of great benefit, but if you notice that yourself or a staff member is starting to express a heightened sense of emotion, the best thing to do is communicate – at work, suggest a one-on-one meeting, or a whole-of-staff meeting/get together. Most importantly, be there as a responsible practice manager to reassure and guide your staff of the positives.

    During uncertain times, it’s important (in my view) to increase communication with those around you. We can become emotional and extremely negative when we’re doing a poor job of communicating with others.

    Being Prepared

    I’m not going to sugarcoat this one – be prepared for the worst. And I’m talking about at the clinic, mainly. Just like in flu season, have procedures in place to ensure the spread of any virus is as limited as possible. This means briefing your staff numerous times throughout the year to remind them of any and all current procedures, and having standards in place that are not altered by any means.

    If we focus solely on your medical clinic, for instance, you can start to model and anticipate the capacity to provide care. Having sufficient supplies of sanitiser for patients upon entering, and deep cleaning the seats, is just one example; having signs and banners ready about the rules of entering your medical practice as well as protective equipment for staff such as masks and gloves is paramount to being prepared.

    Know Your Policies and Procedures

    Generally the local, state or federal health departments will have policies and procedures in place for medical centres to assist in ensuring the highest standard in health safety for both patients and medical staff. If you don’t already have your own policy, get cracking on one to cover all rules and regulations in the event of an outbreak. Print out as many copies as needed to be given to every staff member, and de-brief after a few days so that any and all questions can be asked, and any concerns be addressed.

    If you don’t currently have anything, you can start here with the Federal Department of Health’s Emergency Response Plan for COVID-19 (hyperlink to https://www.health.gov.au/sites/default/files/documents/2020/02/australian-health-sector-emergency-response-plan-for-novel-coronavirus-covid-19_2.pdf).

    Having policies and a manual in place will certainly help you keep positive during uncertain times.

     

    Precautions are necessary, but there are plenty of ways to remain positive and stay away from confusion about what’s happening around us. If it’s all still a little overwhelming, focus on one thing at a time, but hopefully my tips will help you stay uplifted and positive in what is (let’s be honest, here) a miserable time. Let’s stay courageous and do our bit to fight the situation.

    Share this with all your people, and if you have any other tips that you think could help others to stay positive, please get in touch!

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