Mr Stephen Henderson is the head of the dental division and a dental adviser at MDDUS. Stephen joined MDDUS in 2018 and was recently awarded an honorary fellowship by the Faculty of General Dental Practice. To mark Mental Health Awareness Week, we find out how he copes during such challenging times for healthcare workers and how he looks after his own mental health and wellbeing.
What steps do you take to look after your own mental health and wellbeing?
I try to have a clear boundary between work and home. That has been more difficult since I started working from home, so I have to be disciplined, which isn’t easy.
How do you relax or unwind after work, what do you look forward to most when you have time off?
I find cooking an evening meal from scratch every day very relaxing. Also, virtual exercise classes force me to stop thinking about work and focus on the task at hand.
If stress keeps me awake or stops me sleeping, I have found that reading distracts me. Recent favourites have been Shuggie Bain, Where the Crawdads Sing, and the Slow Horses series.
Describe your perfect day off.
A long walk along the beach with friends followed by a meal in a lovely waterside restaurant.
What activities or hobbies do you enjoy doing that keep you motivated?
I enjoy watching sport, ideally in person, but more often on TV. A day at a test match is always a treat.
In such difficult times, what supportive advice would you offer to any of your peers, particularly those who may be experiencing loneliness?
Try to maintain a sensible work/life balance. Local BDA sections or local study groups can be an opportunity to meet other colleagues.
You could also take up a hobby so that you can meet and join in with new non-dental friends. Have some treats in your diary to look forward to, for example a concert or theatre trip.
Do take a proper break from work when you are on holiday and don’t bottle your anxieties and fears up - share them with a trusted friend.
YourHalo: Emotional Wellbeing
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