For healthcare professionals (and anyone working in the care sector) the emotional pressures that accompany working with vulnerable people can be overwhelming. Emotional fatigue as well as increasing workloads make it difficult for those looking after us all, to look after themselves. If airplane safety instructions have taught us anything, it’s that we have to make sure we put on our own oxygen masks before we assist others!
Our Helping the Helpers Stress Management workshop set out to remind the Children, Young People and Families specialist Occupational Therapy group, that looking after themselves is not a luxury but a necessity. In the workshop we covered the neuroscience and physiology of stress (taking everyone back to their school biology days) and top tips for reducing and managing stress. The struggle for most healthcare professionals, the Occupational Therapists included, is that whilst aware of stress management techniques, finding and creating time to implement the techniques can be challenging. This is where technology can play a role in supporting healthcare professionals to prioritise their own mental wellbeing. For the Occupational Therapists at our workshop, using virtual reality as a relaxation tool was a gateway to a new world of immersive technology and its benefits to wellbeing.