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The importance of self-awareness

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Date posted

3 March, 2022

One of the first steps towards improving personal wellbeing is by becoming actively aware of the way in which we feel. With a large proportion of the UK's medical staff signalling feelings of exhaustion and fatigue, acknowledging and actively engaging any fatigue related symptoms early, represents a great way of efficiently dealing with them. Ignoring feelings of fatigue and exhaustion alongside continuous exposure to stress could result in burnout.

The signs associated with fatigue and exhaustion are many and varied. According to the British Journal Association these signs could be behavioural, emotional and physical. The table below showcases some of the symptoms associated with fatigue and burnout.


The list encapsulates only a few of the many factors which could signal fatigue or exhaustion. Whether any of these symptoms are being experienced or not, this should not determine the pursuit of improving individual wellbeing. With work-associated stress still being reported in a high proportion amongst the medical workforce, there are some simple ways to try and deal with stressful periods. Below are just a few examples of ways in which stress could be dealt with efficiently on a daily basis.


Communication and Openness

Speaking about personal feelings and sharing negative emotions represents a great deal towards overcoming stress. Using trusted relationships, both from professional and personal life, for support can help improve morale, ease negative emotions while increasing feelings of motivation.


Mindfulness Meditation

The NHS describes mindfulness mediation as “sitting silently and paying attention to thoughts, sounds, the sensations of breathing or parts of the body, bringing your attention back whenever the mind starts to wander”. Several studies have shown that mindfulness meditation can improve overall wellbeing whilst also having some amazing effects on the immune systems and the ability to cope with certain conditions. With mindfulness representing a very important process towards achieving wellbeing, we’ve dedicated an entire chapter to it. Find out more about the many ways in which mindfulness meditation can help you by reading the fourth chapter of this series.


Relaxation and actively relieving stress

Relieving stress is probably one of the most effective ways of improving personal wellbeing. In a simple definition, stress has been described as the manner in which the body responds to a challenge of a difficult experience. Taking some time to relax as well as being proactive represent some of the best ways to relieve stress. For healthcare professionals and their dynamic lives however, that’s easier said than done.

The next chapter will look to explore the concept of stress and provide a list of areas in which taking certain steps could prove to be very efficient towards tackling stress and as a result improving personal wellbeing.

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