Tips on How To De-Stress from Healthcare Professionals

A health crisis, even those smaller than one of pandemic proportions, is a challenging occasion for any health worker. With the immense pressure to support the foundation of health in the community, many often forget to look after themselves. The ability to de-stress on a day off often feels so far away, and occasionally it can be difficult to know the best techniques or diverse ways to de-stress.

Everyone has different ways to de-stress but instead of listing methods that can be applied to everyone, here are some first-hand tips from health care workers themselves:

#1 Learn a Language

Many are probably thinking, how will learning a language help me de-stress? At the very least it will expand your world view and enhance your career opportunities. However, did you know that interactive language apps like Duolingo can help improve mental wellbeing by offering interactive and fun ways for you to distract yourself.

After promising myself (and my Italian grandparents) for years that I would properly learn Italian, it is finally in play! I use an app calledDuolingo (which is amazing!) and practice for half an hour every day before bed. It’s really fun, hugely addicting and free, so I would definitely recommend!” – Mia, HCA from Watford*

#2 Chuff Chart

A chuff chart is essential a countdown to something for you to look forward to, and what better way to reassure yourself than with a countdown. There are a variety of ways to approach this, a more modern and easy way is by having a countdown app on your phone. This method will allow you to find motivation and work to a goal when you know you are working to an end of something. It’s easy and a less time-consuming project to reinvigorate yourself and to boost positivity.

“I’ve recently started using chuff charts again from my time in the RAF to countdown the days of my locum placements. During this time, when everything is out of our control, I find chuff charts great as there is an end in sight. It reminds me of an old saying back in the RAF ‘days to do are getting few’.” – Stephen, Radiographer from Sussex*

 #3 Meditation/Yoga

It is a popular choice for de-stressing and clearing for a healthier mind. Today, there are so many apps, blogs, and books that offer techniques and advice on meditating and mindfulness. A combination of two can benefit not only your mind but may have an impact on your physical health as well by enabling better sleep. Apps like Calm have partnered with the NHS and are offering free access to their website and app to help de-stress after a long shift.

Recommendations from health professionals: Calm app or headspace, reading meditation books or watching YouTube videos that go over certain techniques.

#4 Yoga and Stretching

Yoga has been often touted as a go to destressing exercise, not only does it include aspects of meditation, but it can also help break out of the negative cycle of feeling tense and anxious by prompting focus on the here and now, while also encouraging positivity and affirmation.

There are a variety of different ways to practice yoga and from all levels of experience, you can use an app such as Down Dog, Daily Yoga, Yoga Studio and many more and some of which offer discount to Healthcare Professionals.

You can also learn yoga via YouTube videos such as Yoga with Adriene, many of which offer short videos for those with time constraints.

If yoga can seem a bit intimidating to you, you can always do a variety of stretches to destress. Quite often the body can tense up when under stress, causing muscle ache and fatigue. Taking even just 15 minutes out of your day to gentle stress and care for your body can make a huge difference.

#5 Mantra

Consistently putting others’ health before yours can take a toll. Mantras can be simple as changing “I can’t” to “I can”; there are a variety of mantra books that are great for motivating you to take good care of yourself. Vex King, a popular Instagram blogger wrote the book “Good vibes, Good life: How self-love is the key to unlocking your greatness.”

Recommendations from health professionalsMantra-Daily Affirmations, reading modern or older versions of mantra books.

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