100 days of COVID-19 and a week off

 Nicky Hughes 19 Jun 2020

100 days since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and the importance of taking time off.

Today is the 100th day since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s hard to remember life before COVID-19 when we were all rushing around, travelling here and there and attending large events full of people. I know for some of you it feels like a lifetime and the relentless pace of working in healthcare services has taken its toll. I am so proud to be a nurse and to see colleagues across Wales, in all sectors, showing dedication and commitment to ensuring patients have the right care.

We have come a long way on this journey, and it is amazing to see how quickly we have all adapted during this difficult time. We have also implemented rapid service change – something we have considered for years but never quite got over the line. Nurses are always at the forefront of innovation and transformation, ensuring the best evidence-based care is provided.

As you know I was on leave last week and like many others thought: “do I really want the week off? What am I going to do? Will I get bored?”

Well I had a lovely week! I spent time with my family, finally getting to see my 80-year-old mum in person during a socially distanced sit in the garden. I went on walks with our dogs – Hollie the Greyhound and Lacey Lou, a Saluki cross. Even my daughter, who is nearly 17, ventured out to meet up with my sister and her two dogs!

I got a few jobs done around the house too but must confess to having been a bit lazy as well – lots of lie-ins and reading my book in the sunshine. I also travelled the world on my virtual Facebook holiday, remembering funny stories about holidays we have been on over the years – Rhodes, Leros, Barcelona and Disneyland Paris. By the end of the week I felt I could quite happily have taken another week off! But I have returned to work feeling well-rested and ready to dive back in.

I would very much recommend taking time out but I know there are many reasons why you may not have been able to at the moment – or maybe you have had some time off but are still affected by the sheer workload. The RCN has a number of resources available to you to help with looking after yourself in these difficult times. Do ensure you take time to Rest, Rehydrate, Refuel when you’re in work and always be kind to yourself.

I would love to hear your holiday experiences during COVID-19 or any reflections on the past 100 days of the COVID-19 pandemic. Tweet me – @nichughes1 – or email CommunicationsWales@rcn.org.uk

Nicky Hughes

Associate Director of Nursing (Employment Relations) RCN Wales

Nicky has 30 years experience of working in the NHS in the specialities of inpatient acute medicine and the community setting, where she managed frontline services such as District Nursing, Prison Nursing, and those caring for the homeless and asylum seekers. In addition she commissioned care from the nursing home sector.

Page last updated - 29/06/2020