Quick stress busters

Sometimes, everyone needs a little break to help them catch their breath and put their mental health first. This is especially important if your role involves stressful situations, like you might find in the emergency services.

“Just focusing on your breathing with your eyes closed can really help!”

Ben Hawkins Emergency Dispatcher, East of England Ambulance Service

Taking just a few minutes to yourself can make a big difference – it can help you process what you’ve just dealt with, and return to a feeling of control and calm.

Sometimes, you might feel like turning to less positive habits to cope – things like overeating, smoking or drinking might feel good in the moment, but can lead to more problems in the future.

Instead, focusing on healthy activities, such as talking to friends, setting yourself personal goals and enjoying some exercise can have a really positive influence on your mental health, and help you cope with the challenges you face in your role.

10 stress busters

If you’re stressed, whether by your job or something more personal, the first step to feeling better is to identify the cause.

This web page from the NHS outlines ten easy ways for you to reduce the amount of stress you experience. It includes tips on remaining positive, connecting with people, and getting active.

  • 5 min read
  • UK-wide

5 steps to mental wellbeing

Research from the New Economics Foundation suggests there are five key things we can all do to improve our mental wellbeing.

This page from NHS Moodzone summarises these 5 steps to mental wellbeing, with tips and examples, to help you feel happier, more positive and able to get the most from life.

  • 5 min read
  • UK-wide

Creating a 10-minute pause space

Working under pressure for long periods of time can leave you feeling stressed, burned out, and drained.

This guide is designed to help team leaders to run a short session, called a ‘Pause Space’, which allows staff to take some time to relax, reflect on their work, and show appreciation for their colleagues.

  • 20 min read
  • UK-wide
NHS England and NHS Improvement

Guided relaxation videos

Breathing and relaxation exercises can support alleviation of stress and anxiety.

This series of guided relaxation videos by the Fire Fighters Charity introduces the concepts of  mindfulness, meditation and calming breathing.

  • 10 min watch
  • UK-wide

Looking for more suggestions, tips and ideas?