Returning back to normality 

Life seems to be returning to some sort of normality. Pubs and cafes are open, and I had my first night out in a restaurant for over 100 days. Such small pleasures make an enormous difference to our mental health. Where however things are still very different is in our working lives. Many of you are finding that how and where we work is still not back to normal and are maybe beginning to fear that it never will be. General practitioners are gearing up for the winter rush (I know it’s still only July but it comes around quickly) and are having to deal with an enormous backlog of work and patient requirements as many have stored up their minor and major issues till now. Remote working continues for all and we miss the real patient contact. Surgeons are approaching PH in more numbers than ever – distressed by the inability to do their job at all – that is to operate. Where they are doing so, the requirements to make things safe means that they can only perform at a massive reduced rate – creating frustration in many. Other specialities have their own concerns. ITU staff are now reflecting on what they have been through and are feeling somewhat deflated after all the buzz of the early stages. For many, the impact of the last three-four months has left them depleted and somewhat uneasy over how things will develop.

Sleep problems are becoming more common in our patients, with many describing vivid dreams. We are told this is because of people getting more sleep during lockdown, more time for REM which in turn allows for emotional processing of experiences and then recall of the content of the dream. Our recent webinar on insomnia drew a large audience and we will shortly be starting a group for patients experiencing sleep problems. If this resonates with you try one of our available resources:

CBT for insomnia presented by Dr Ishi Bains and Dr Arun Hansi watch here 

Silvercloud Space for Sleep module – passcode NHS2020  click here 

Most importantly, get some rest now, recharge your batteries, take some time off if you can – who knows what is around the corner.