Are you OK? Self-Care and Wellbeing

You know why you should...
Here's a reminder about how to apply your own oxygen mask first.

For the 2023 ‘RUOK’ Day, the theme is “I’m here to listen”.

GP supervisors do a lot of listening – to patients, practice staff, registrars, family and friends.

But how often does the GP supervisor have the opportunity to be listened to? To stop and think about their own needs?

Take this chance to pause, evaluate just how ‘OK’ you are today, and implement some easy self-care measures. First.

Role modeling self-care for future GPs and RGs is one of the most powerful legacies you can leave for the primary healthcare of tomorrow.

Think how much more meaningful it would be to ask how your registrar is doing after you’ve applied your own oxygen mask…

Understanding Self-Care

Self-care embraces the intentional activities and routines we adopt to maintain and improve our overall health and wellness.

Stress and Anxiety Management

Embracing self-care practices can effectively combat stress and anxiety by allowing your body and mind to recuperate. Activities like leisurely walks and spending time with friends can reduce stress-related symptoms.

Enhanced Effectiveness

Prioritizing self-care is a key to becoming more efficient in your daily life. By nourishing your body with proper nutrition, adequate rest, and regular exercise, you’ll gain increased energy levels, fostering resilience in dealing with life’s challenges.


Consider incorporating these self-care practices into your daily routine to boost your well-being, manage stress, and enhance your productivity.

Firstly, you need a self-assessment

The initial phase of crafting an effective self-care plan involves an open evaluation of your coping mechanisms.

Recognizing responses

Can you pinpoint how you typically manage life’s pressures? Are you attuned to recognizing when it’s necessary to take a breather?

Positive vs. Negative coping methods

When confronted with challenges, individuals tend to employ either constructive or detrimental coping tactics. Consider these examples:

Positive Coping MethodsNegative Coping Methods
Deep breathingShouting
Exercising / walkingSitting for long period
Engaging in a hobby Skipping meals
Connecting with othersDrinking alcohol

Be truthful with yourself

Honesty is crucial when assessing your behaviours. If you discover difficulties in dealing with situations, feelings of anger, irritability, or anxiety, it’s a sign to pause and recalibrate. Perhaps it’s time to reconsider your go-to coping techniques.

Empower yourself by recognizing your coping patterns and making informed choices for your well-being.

Secondly, define your daily self-care needs by identifying priorities

Take a moment to reflect on what holds value and importance in your daily life, particularly in times of uncertainty.

  • * Now is an ideal moment to plan.
  • * The time invested in self-care planning today will yield benefits in the future. 
  • * Self-care isn’t solely about addressing physical needs, it encompasses your psychological, emotional, spiritual, social, financial, and workplace wellbeing.

Finally, reflect and refine

Take a moment to contemplate the coping strategies you’ve identified in prior activities.

  • * Determine what’s working effectively and what isn’t.
    * Keep the tools that have proven helpful and eliminate those that hinder your progress.
By recognizing your daily self-care requirements and refining your coping strategies, you pave the way for a more balanced and resilient approach to life’s challenges.

The following positive thinking styles can help you grow a more optimistic and resilient mindset during times of stress and anxiety.

  • Optimism: Maintain a hopeful outlook, believing that challenges can be overcome and that better times lie ahead.
  • Gratitude: Focus on the things you are grateful for, no matter how small, to shift your perspective toward positivity.
  • Mindfulness: Stay present in the moment, acknowledging your thoughts and feelings without judgment, to reduce anxiety about the past or future.
  • Self-Compassion: Treat yourself with kindness and understanding, acknowledging that it’s okay to make mistakes and face challenges.
  • Positive Self-Talk: Replace negative self-talk with affirming and encouraging words and phrases.
  • Problem-Solving: Approach challenges as opportunities for growth and actively seek solutions to overcome them.
  • Visualization: Imagine a positive outcome or future scenario to reduce anxiety and increase motivation.
  • Humour: Find humour in difficult situations to lighten the mood and relieve tension.
  • Acceptance: Accept that some things are beyond your control and focus your energy on what you can change.
  • Social Support: Seek support from friends, family, or a support network to share your feelings and gain perspective.
  • Resilience: View setbacks as temporary and learn from them to bounce back stronger.
  • Flexibility: Be open to adapting your plans and expectations to accommodate changing circumstances.
  • Positive Affirmations: Use positive statements about yourself and your abilities to boost self-esteem and confidence.
  • A Growth Mindset: Believe in your capacity to learn and improve, seeing challenges as opportunities for growth.


Remember: if you feel overwhelmed, it’s important to seek help, don’t hesitate to reach out for assistance and to speak with your GP.

Date reviewed: 12 September 2023

Please note that while reasonable care is taken to provide accurate information at the time of creation, we frequently update content and links as needed. If you identify any inconsistencies or broken links, please let us know by email.
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