Self Management Reflective Practice enabled a Community Links Practitioner to reflect and improve her self management and wellbeing at work.

I attended Self Management Reflective Practice training in March 2023. I enjoyed the training partly because it’s a chance to mix with peers in an otherwise isolated role, and also to take time away from the GP Practice where I work. This was helpful to have time to think, without the temptation to update a referral while in an online meeting.  

It’s easy to get caught up in the role and in my first few months of being here, I could see why Links Workers can be consumed by the issues raised by participants. Some issues raised can stay with you if you do not take the time to look after yourself. The training reminded us that it’s vital to take a step back, realise our limits and be open and honest about them.  

Personally, that resonated with me. I’m fairly new to the role, and you always want to perform well in a new job. I would sometimes come in a little early to prepare, have missed a couple of lunches to accommodate everyone and, at times, was in danger of neglecting a vital part of the programme: Me! 

Talking to others in the group; trainers and peers, it was clear this is quite common e.g. if appointments run over, too many referrals and ALL are recorded as an emergency. It can take a lot of time to catch up, but at what cost?  We learned we could be overworked, which leads to higher sickness rates, or overworked mentally, which means being less productive, both for the participants and the ALLIANCE.  

Since the training I have taken regular breaks and a lunch to refocus. I regularly speak to my peers and of course my manager if I’m unsure about anything or feeling overwhelmed. This is easy to do as we have our WhatsApp group for support, and regular supervision and team meetings.  I had lost touch with one of the people I was inducted with, who was also at the session. That day we agreed to meet for lunch and share experiences and knowledge, which we have arranged since the meeting. It was a great way to reduce the imposter syndrome that’s created by us, and look at things with a fresh set of eyes.

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