In Mindcast

Jinjer Kandola and Angela McNab – Switching Off

Angela McNab and Jinjer Kandola are the Chief Executives of Camden & Islington NHS Trust and Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Mental Health Trust respectively. They have come together to both speak about what they do to switch off, which is so important for everyone to try and do during this difficult time.

Wellbeing Quiz Profile: #MoreFrantic

View transcript

Hello my name is Lydia Hartland-Rowe from the Together in Mind team and this is just a quick introduction to a podcast that we hope will be interesting to people and get some ideas going. We’ve seen a lot in the results coming back from the survey, particularly in the free text, about how hard it is for us to switch off and find ways to rest in the middle of all this and although we know there are of course many staff in health and social care settings who are not having a long weekend break and are still doing what they do, we also know that there are for all of us times when we’re not working. This podcast has a couple of people speaking about different ways that they choose to switch off and ‘play’ even in really high stress, significant and demanding jobs. We hope that you enjoy it.

Hello my name is Jinjer Kandola and I’m the Chief Executive of Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Mental Health Trust. I know the pandemic has had a huge impact on everyone in all our work and home lives, but I’m really incredibly proud of how staff in my Trust, and all the Trusts across the NHS and NCL have responded. It’s been with great pride I go out on a Thursday night and clap for all my colleagues and everybody on the front line who is providing essential care to everybody during the COVID period.

Like yourselves, the COVID pandemic has given us lots of challenges. For me, at work, one of the biggest challenges is the ability to go out and spend time with front line staff and colleagues in the way that I used to. I’m finding like many of you I’m spending lots of time of the telephone and webinars, which is a really great way of connecting and getting through the chunky bits of work we have to do. I have learnt a lot, particularly around IT, and my skills and ability to hold a webinar. But what it misses is that important personal connection, to check in with everyone and how they are doing. And that’s the same at home with family and friends. I’ve found I’ve been connecting with my family and friends via Whatsapp and other apps, and that’s really important but it doesn’t take away the difference of actually having someone in front of you, and that human contact that we all need.

I hope that you get some time over the bank holiday weekend to relax and enjoy yourself. One of things that I will be doing is spending time hopefully with my family and in the garden, just taking some time out to do a bit of gardening, relax and be thankful for all the things that we do have.

I know sometimes it’s hard to be able to switch off, especially when we’ve been working on the front line and it’s been so hard, but we really all do need to do that, and everybody finds different ways. During these weekends and evenings when you are at home and aren’t able to go out, I find that I am able to switch off just by reading books and having conversations. I’ve recently taken up, like my daughter, the opportunity of doing some colouring. Adult colouring books and adult colouring apps are really good at that and I would really recommend it. I’ve also found baking has come back and we’ve been baking a lot with my daughter and cooking our meals. Spending time with the family, doing the simple things, is really important. It’s really important that as we continue you all look after yourself and take care. Stay safe, look after yourselves and your families, but above all I’d really like to say a really big thank you from the bottom of my heart for everything that you’re doing on a daily basis to keep people safe. Thank you so much.

Hi everybody, its Angela McNab here, Chief Executive of Camden and Islington NHS Trust. Goodness me, it’s difficult sometimes isn’t it, to get away from thinking all the time about this pandemic and the things we have to do to manage it and how we keep working and serving our population through these difficult times. It can be really difficult to switch off, and I’ve certainly found that myself.

The things that I’ve done – I’ve taken up learning a new language! Occasionally at the weekend that means I can just spend an hour on learning something completely different, that’s got nothing to do with COVID-19, and I’ve found that’s been really helpful. Of course I still do my running, which has always been a way of switching off, but you know what it’s like when you’re doing a physical exercise, sometimes your mind still strays a bit, doesn’t it? The Spanish for me, learning that has been a fantastic thing because I can just get completely absorbed and I’m so hopeless I have to really concentrate and I haven’t got room to think about anything else at all.

I guess then in terms of something that is slightly less intellectually demanding, well I have to confess now, every now and again I become a bit of a jigsaw addict. During this last couple of months I’ve managed to do two, 1000 piece jigsaws and having that out on my big table in my lounge means that I can just sit there for a couple of minutes in the evening and completely switch off and just focus on finding where that next piece goes.

I hope whatever you’re doing to switch off and unwind works for you this weekend and that you get lots of time either to practice a new skill, or enjoy a hobby, or do something you haven’t done before. Whatever you do – enjoy – and try and really switch off properly.

Comments are closed.