Personal Resilience

Connect…With the people around you.
Be active… Step outside, discover a physical activity you enjoy.
Take notice… Be curious; appreciate what matters to you.
Keep learning… Try something new. Rediscover an old interest.
Give… Do something nice for a friend, or a stranger. Thank someone. Smile.
Five Ways to Wellbeing, NHS Confederation

COVID-19 – resources to support the wellbeing of NHS staff is critical during the pandemic.

MindEd Coronavirus Staff Resilience Hub – Helping frontline staff to manage your mental health and wellbeing. Advice and tips for all frontline staff.

A  free e-learning resource on Psychological Wellbeing in Healthcare Workers contains includes information, advice and tips from experts in the field and signposting around Psychologically safe work environments, communication, social stigma, accessing social support, self-care strategies, rest, shift-work and sleep, and managing emotions during the pandemic.

#OurNHSPeople have published a simple set of ideas for maintaining and enhancing your personal resilience while facing the uncertainty and challenges of the COVID-19 situation. The ABC Guide to Personal Resilience contains practical ideas that you can use, as well as questions to ask yourself to help you become more resilient and cope better with stress during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Take a look at the RCGP briefing on the Patient safety implications of general practice workload  which discusses the impact of fatigue caused by persistent, excessive workload, and the patient safety implications – an interesting read. (Read our blog on the briefing here.)

A study in BMJ Quality & Safety suggests that a GPs mental wellbeing directly affects the quality of the care they give their patients.

A poll by Mind taken in June 2016, of over 1000 NHS workers in primary care, including GPs, practice nurses, practice managers,  showed that almost nine in ten find their work is currently the most stressful area of their lives, ahead of their finances, health, family life and relationships and has a significant impact on their physical health.  And an online survey found that two in five GPs have a mental health problem.

Some of the coping strategies used by GPs to cope with the stresses and strains of their job are described in Afternoon Surgery – a poem about a cynical, alcohol-dependent GP.

An Ockham Healthcare podcast describes the General practice resilience programme in Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire

Some resources for you to try:

Physical activity

The Physical Activity and Lifestyle Toolkit has been designed by the RCGPs in partnership with Sport England, to be used by primary care professionals in the UK.  This will  work along side the RCGP Active Charter which supports GP practices to increase physical activity among both staff and patients.


FREE wellbeing apps for NHS staff collated by NHS Practitioner Health.

Take a look at the RCGP Wellbeing page of useful organisations to contact.

Live well: Five steps to mental wellbeing – from NHS Choices was written for the public, with video and a range of resources to draw on.

The MindTools Stress management collection includes explanations and action-oriented tools and tips around stress, burnout, time management and lots more.

Check out the Mental Health and Wellbeing pages of  NHS Choices.

Art of Brilliance: promoting positive thinking and making the most of the resources that you have.

Wellbeing podcasts from the Mental Health Foundation – an introduction to the skills and techniques that can help you live a mentally healthier life.

First You are a group of health care professionals who have developed a website to signpost the help and resources they wish they’d had available to them in the past. First You Resources include grief, self care, stress & anxiety, inspiration & distraction and crisis support.

CBT based resources for everyone

Living life to the full  A life skills course based on CBT techniques; lots of practical little things we can do to positively impact on the quality of life. Set up by a psychiatrist and teaching key knowledge in how to tackle and respond to issues and demands that we all meet in our everyday lives.

Relaxation solutions  from the Foundation for Positive Mental Health – Resources for GPs and patients: watch the Breathing Relaxation exercise video (4 minutes) or listen to Muscle Relaxation.


Creating Resilience – Battling GP burnout – Report on data from 1,784 GPs who completed a personal assessment survey. Dr Alastair Dobbin talks about some simple solutions which create resilience and help people to cope with stress.

Guidance to help NHS managers reduce stress in the workplace – Comprehensive guidance from NHS Employers to help managers throughout the NHS reduce stress in the workplace and better support staff who experience it.

Managing Personal Resilience – and e-learning resource from the Management Advisory Service.

i-resilience provides a comprehensive understanding of personal resilience.  Having completed a  questionnaire users receive a free personal i-resilience report and can access the i-resilience portal which allows them to develop their resilience in line with the results of their report. Before taking the free i-resilience survey, you will need to sign-up to Good Day At Work – a free, online community where individuals, professionals and experts can connect and be inspired by wellbeing.


Mindfulness is a mind-body approach to well-being that can help you change the way you think about experiences and reduce stress and anxiety.

Be Mindful

The focus of an All-Party Parliamentary Group on Wellbeing Economics meeting on health policy and education (June 2014), key emerging themes from the Panel discussion were:

  • Well-being must be seen as integral to core policy objectives in health and education, and not separate from them: mental health is inseparable from physical health, and children’s mental health and well-being is inseparable from their capacity to learn and achieve. A more holistic approach is needed.
  •  In both health and education, a key challenge for scaling up mindfulness programmes is building the stock of trained mindfulness teachers whilst maintaining standards. It was suggested that mindfulness should be included in teacher training and in medical students’ training as a matter of course.

Read about the benefits of Mindfulness for GPs in GP online. 

To find out more try the e-LfH Introduction to Mindfulness

Mindfulness for mental wellbeing from NHS Choices.

Oxford Mindfulness Centre – the Centre offers education and training. Mindfulness training as part of the core training of health professionals

Free Guided Meditations – from the UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center. An introduction to mindfulness meditation that you can practice on your own directly from your computer or download as iTunes Podcasts.

HeadSpace – a collection of mindfulness sessions to suit every mood and lifestyle including a free Take 10 programme – just 10 minutes a day.

Support for Doctors

NHS Practitioner Health Service (incorporates NHS GP Health Service)  – “a free, confidential NHS service for doctors and dentists across England with mental illness and addiction problems, who are working or looking to return to clinical practice.”

There are Professional Support Units which provide support for doctors and dentists across England including Thames Valley and  Wessex.

The BMA has a page of Sources of support for your wellbeing including organisations, services and websites which can offer help. Whether you are struggling with addiction or looking for legal advice, find signposts to support.

Sick Doctors Trust Confidential advice and help for doctors suffering from addictions, hope and rehabilitation for colleagues and their families, and protection for patients.

The Royal Medical Benevolent Fund is a charity for doctors, medical students and their families that provides financial support, money advice and information when it is most needed due to illness, age, bereavement or disability.

The Doctors’ Support Network (DSN) – a fully confidential, friendly self-help group for doctors with mental health concerns.

The Cameron Fund is a medical benevolent charity providing support to GPs and their families in times of financial need, whether through ill-health, disability, death or loss of employment.

The CPD Zone is brought to you by the GP schools of Health Education England working across Thames Valley and Wessex, in association with Oxford Health FT Library.​

Page last reviewed: 27 November, 2020