How to cope with Anxiety as a Healthcare professional

My anxiety was always a worry of mine when I decided to embark on my Midwifery journey (yes, I’m aware of the irony!). I genuinely worried that I wouldn’t be “allowed” on to the course, that I wouldn’t be deemed fit to practice because of it, but I was.

In this current day in age, it was inevitable that my anxiety was going to be something I faced at work – whether it be the pressure/stress that the NHS is facing as a whole, or an emergency situation within practice. It was going to happen.

Now, by some miracle, up to this point I have managed to contain the anxiety internally (for the most part) – I have received criticism from mentors because unfortunately I cannot control the external effects i.e. shaky hands, clumsiness, rising heart and breath rate, I’ve even at times experienced blurred vision when looking for an important piece of paperwork for the doctors. However, it is a bloody amazing achievement that I haven’t just crumbled into a mess on the floor or experienced extreme hyperventilation like I would normally in a panic attack.

I don’t know whether this is because up until now I have been able to hide behind student status and my student uniform, with an experienced Midwife by my side at all times, or if it’s because I know I have a responsibility to provide safe timely care to ensure the health of both mother and baby – just get them stable Lauren and then you can have your breakdown!! (Along with your long overdue wee and a cup of tea)

So here are my top tips for attempting to control anxiety as a healthcare professional (specifically in an emergency situation):

  1. As soon as I get to work, I’m analysing the board, getting familiar and mentally preparing myself for the situations that I could be faced with that day. And then once I have been allocated the patient/patients I am going to be caring for I start mentally making a plan of care. Finally, once I have taken over the care, I do all of my initial tasks, gather any important information I need, and then I document everything including my plan of care. It’s written down, in black ink, I can’t forget anything!
  2. Any time something happens which alters the plan of care, it is documented, and a new plan of care is written. Documentation is SO important in maternity because things can change so quickly and emergencies are time-critical of course.
  3. Like you are taught when you are learning to drive, you need to be aware of everything, all of your surroundings. So frequent reviews need to be made in order to stay in control of the situation.
  4. Having taken up yoga and meditation recently, the best way for me to try to control anxiety is doing my breathing. I take long, slow, deep breaths, and try to relax every muscle as I exhale. However, if things change very quickly then this step may be skipped altogether!
  5. The BIGGEST saving grace for me and my anxiety when an emergency situation arises is that, in Midwifery, there is always a support network! When that emergency bell goes off, the whole world and his wife will be in the room within 10-20 seconds (obviously I mean doctors and midwives – useful people!) Everyone knows their role in each emergency situation and they just fall right into place and get on with it!
  6. DEBRIEF – I have to talk it out! I discuss with senior colleagues what has happened and make sense of the situation. This helps me to understand and also allows me to gain any feedback. I have often been praised for “holding it together” and acting quickly, when actually inside I was falling apart! So it’s reassuring to know that my anxiety doesn’t come across to my colleagues or the women in my care. It also means I can go home confident in the decisions I made that day and not let the anxiety continue all through the night!

As a Midwife, the women in my care trust me to look after them and their babies, and to bring their babies into the world safely. And my colleagues trust me to deliver safe care as an autonomous practitioner. I intend to maintain that trust and it’s important to me to not let anxiety take my passion away from me.

Did you enjoy this post? Would you like to see more content about my job? Let me know in the comments.

Love Loz x










My weight, my body, and my mental health

It’s only recently that I have begun to open up about my experiences with the issues of weight, body image and mental health…it’s a very empowering and freeing feeling to break through that wall and begin talking about it. Especially considering it’s been an internal struggle for me for the majority of my life so far.

In September I took part in an annual self love week which released some inner strength I didn’t even know I had, and gave me the power to post about these issues on Instagram for the first time ever.

Now, although this is MASSIVE for me, I also kept it strictly to Instagram as the only social media channel, and I also secretly felt safe knowing that my Insta account is private. However this still meant that some close family and friends, colleagues and ex-colleagues, and other people I see regularly could read them. I felt extremely vulnerable but my posts were met with nothing but love and support. The mindset shifts I made during that week empowered me to start this blog in order to fulfil my love of writing!

I have always been the “bigger girl” out of my friends, my family, my year group, my workplace. Ironically it makes me feel like the smallest person alive! And that feeling right there, impacts hugely on my confidence, my faith in myself, and overall my mental health. My relationship with food is the most toxic relationship I have ever been in, constantly yo-yo’ing between a diet method and binge eating. I’ve realised in the past 6 months that “dieting” is not for me – it’s not that I don’t lose weight when I follow them, it’s because the restriction mindset only worsens my mental health and my relationship with food. I realised that what I needed was for food to become just food again, so instead I have adopted the abundance mindset – all food is available to me, whenever I want, however much I want! Now, I know this sounds completely controversial, and downright scary for people who, like me, have relied on diets for soooo long that they know no different. And initially it’s very normal to catapult into a massive binge on all of the “forbidden” foods and gain weight.

Bare with me…

But what you will learn is intuitive eating instead. I’m still working on this, as I’m still quite new to the practice myself. Listening to what your body really wants. You know that feeling, after the Christmas period, where you’ve stuffed yourself silly with chocolate, cheese, alcohol, roast potatoes and Yorkshire puddings etc, and you can literally hear your body screaming out for vegetables and fruit and salad?? Your body really does know what it wants!!

I am also a sufferer of depression and anxiety and I struggle with them every day, some days more than others, and I can’t always explain why. Through doing self love week and continuing my inner work, I have realised that I neglect my self care – doing things which light me up and make me happy. Taking time for myself is now becoming a big part of my life. Even when I’m super busy and skint. Something as simple as a hot bubble bath and a face mask can change my entire mood – how crazy is that?!

My point is that we all have busy lives – we have husbands/partners, children, pets, jobs, school, after school clubs, housework, cooking…the list goes on. But we absolutely must prioritise taking care of ourselves as well – even if it is just your own mini pamper session! Because this is your life too, and it is happening RIGHT NOW!