Possibilities for work-related stress relief

26 March 2020

The Department of Behavioural Sciences Division of Medical Education Development and Communication has prepared a set of suggestions for relieving work-related stress based on the work of other professionals, primarily for physicians, staff members, and heads of departments who deal with patients in this difficult situation. But this series of tips can be useful and worth considering for all of us to reduce our anxieties.

  • Attach the cleaning of your mind / soul to handwashing. Imagine that as your hands get clean, unnecessary tension and heavy feelings also go away.
  • With the infected patients, only the necessary interventions should be performed.
  • During the time between patients, perform a (short) breathing exercise, at least one sigh, which closes the interaction with the previous patient and prepares you for the next.
  • Reflect on your experiences: find the "highlight of the day (morning / afternoon)". No matter how difficult the situation is, there is good in it (a smile, a thank you, a praise).
  • Encourage your colleagues. Acknowledge, praise what they are doing, even if it is a simple, even routine procedure.
  • Use the words "please" and "thank you" when talking to your colleagues.
  • If you have the opportunity: look at a green plant for 20-25 minutes. If not, imagine one! Maybe have a photo of it at your workplace or on the screen of your phone.
  • Stretch from time to time: tension caused by stress usually accumulates in certain parts of the body (shoulder, calf, jaw, etc.). Repeat it and then actively relax this part.
  • If you were upset with someone or hurt someone, apologize. No need to explain, the other person will understand.
  • Recall the memory of someone you loved, or someone who loved you (this increases the central level of oxytocin in the brain, which reduces anxiety, pain and tension).
  • Develop a target image: how you imagine the time when we are over the epidemic and when things are back to normal (e.g. sitting in the garden at home and petting the dog). Actively evoke this image in difficult moments.
  • Apply autosuggestion: "I am capable of it, I will solve it", "I am healthy and strong", "I have rich reserves", "I can be excellently loaded down with work", "Chaos outside, peace inside " - or things like that. Repeat the same statement (the one that suits you best) preferably 10 to 15 times (especially useful at bedtime and when waking up).
  • Think of the thousands of people worldwide who work under similar conditions. Be proud of yourself, your service to mankind is very important!


  • At work, employees should be able to take a 5-minute rest at any time, 2 times in half a day.
  • They should also have the opportunity to take a planned 20-30-minute break. It is of key importance in the long run, even if it seems like a waste of time.