Charity Pharmacist Support has recently launched a series of workshops, the Wardley wellbeing workshops, to help pharmacists, pre-registration trainees and students increase their wellbeing. I had the opportunity to attend one of the workshops designed for pharmacists – here are some tips from the session:
- Look for the positives in everything. At the start of the session, we were encouraged to think of one thing that had brought us joy in the past 24 hours. The trainer, John Buckley, national coordinator at Worklife Support, explained that he starts with this activity because it always makes people smile. Although it can be challenging to dwell on the things that bring us joy, rather than things that worry or upset us, it will improve our overall wellbeing if we do so.
- Stress is not necessarily caused by things that happen, but how we react to those things. Therefore, it is important to consider what is making us stressed and decide whether it is something we can change, or if it is something we just have to deal with. If it is the latter, try to find a way of managing the situation that is less stressful for you.
- Increasing wellbeing does not have to be as a result of major changes; people can make minor adjustments. According to research carried out by the New Economics Foundation (an independent think tank that promotes social, economic and environmental justice) connecting with people, being active, taking notice and being curious about the things around you, continuing to learn new things and giving your time or money are five activities that are important for overall wellbeing.
- We are in control of our own happiness – if you feel like you need a boost, do something that makes you feel good, because you won’t feel better by doing nothing.
- If you continue to react to a situation or person in the same way as you always do, you will get the same results as you always do — or, as one individual who attended the workshop said: “Insanity is doing the same thing many times and expecting a different result.” Therefore, if you always find yourself arguing with the same colleague or missing the same target or deadline, try reacting to his or her comments in a different way, or approaching the challenge differently.
Much of the workshop did seem like common sense — but, as Buckley said, “common sense does not necessarily mean common practice”. I found it was useful to reflect on what makes me feel positive and how I can approach the activities, people or situations that make me feel negative. Discussions with others attending the workshop were also helpful and insightful.
Pharmacists, pre-registration trainees and pharmacy students who would like to find out more about the workshops can visit www.pharmacistsupport.org.