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Planet Rachael: be more dog and live for now

Self-managing at work is a big task. But so are the demands of the job. Wendy Johnson tells you to be more dog and live life for now, instead of planning all the time.

Self-managing at work is a big task. But so are the demands of the job. Wendy Johnson tells you to be more dog and live life for now, instead of planning all the time.

It is unlikely anyone reading this will disagree with the notion that NHS staff have some of the most critical, but demanding jobs in the country. We are in effect holding the NHS together with goodwill and duct tape, minus the duct tape.


Just go for it, writes Wendy Johnson. Picture: iStock

The question I pose today is 'what is holding you together?'

NHS staff health and well-being has never been higher on the agenda. In 2015 Simon Stevens announced a drive to improve and support the health and well-being of 1.3 million health service staff. He promised a roll-out of the following: health checks for the staff over 40-years-old – that’s 1.29 million of us; access to physiotherapy and mental health 'talking' therapies – otherwise known as 'handing a pint to your mate'; smoking cessation and weight management services – without the former the latter usually takes care of itself; and 'healthy' food choices at work – food as they say is like sex, not important unless you aren’t getting any. 

'Dogs don’t plan, talk themselves out of things, risk assess or consider consequences – they just go for it'

So, Simon you do a 12-hour shift without a break then be content with the lettuce-wrapped-hummus option and most depressingly, local physical activity (hello, 12-hour shift?). Next, we will be being asked to teach ourselves the art of mindfulness and mediation and to breath in, breath out. Forget this, attaining enlightenment will be the least of your problems.

My biggest piece of advice to you is to be more dog – and by this I don’t mean sniff the bottoms of people you meet in the park – that’s likely to get you a date with a magistrate. What I mean is live for the now. Dogs don’t plan, talk themselves out of things, risk assess or consider consequences – they just go for it. And, if at first you don’t succeed avoid bungee jumping.


About the author

Wendy Johnson is a matron in a general hospital who writes about life with her daughter Rachael, who has autism

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