RCSItogether Bulletin 19 – Managing Overwhelm, Altemtrics, Wellbeing Guide and Carers Resources

Dear Colleagues,

We hope everyone has had a great week and that the arrival of Phase 3 has given many of you an opportunity to reunite with family from around the country that you have not seen in months. This week we held a Senior Leaders Group meeting on the topic of ‘Creating the next normal’ to discuss our plans for reopening the university and the many changes that will inevitably bring.  Great work has been done by our Business Continuity Planning team in shaping how we will work safely together – staff and student health and safety is at the heart of our approach and further details will be shared with all colleagues over the coming weeks.

#RCSItogether – Learning

This short course on How to Manage Feeling Overwhelmed seems timely as we know how busy everyone is. Feeling overwhelmed is perfectly normal and a sign that the demands on your time and energy have surpassed your ability to cope with them. This course looks at how to disrupt the stress circuit, cultivate calm and positive emotions, and take small, imperfect steps toward resolution. The good news is that, with the right mindset, you can make the unmanageable feel manageable again whatever comes your way.

This article on challenges faced by extraverts while working remotely is worth a read. In our pre-covid workplace, much attention was given to the challenges introverts faced in a world of extrovert advantage. Now, with so many of us working virtually, this is bringing a different set of challenges for people with a preference for extraversion as they cope with longer stretches of solitary work and less spontaneous activity – the opposite to how they would normally like to work. It is so important to recognise and respect the range of needs each of us has and think about how we can support each other to meet those needs.  

#RCSItogether – Health Science

For anyone interested in measuring research impact, Altmetric data should be on your radar. If you would like to find out more about Altmetric data, use it for your research or want advice on using Altmetric data to learn about your research impact and attention, this webinar will give you all the information you need.   Patty Smith, Senior Engagement Manager with Altmetric.com, will bring you through:

• the basics of Altmetrics and how they can help you discover the broad impact of RCSI research;

• how to search the Altmetric Explorer database;

• how to search for your department, for specific researchers or papers, and how to compare across different universities; and

• how to save searches & share reports to make tracking your researchers and departments easier.

#RCSItogether – Minding Others

Being a family member’s carer while balancing work/home commitments can be both physically and emotionally challenging in normal circumstances, never mind during a global pandemic. Being able to take care of your health and wellbeing may seem like an impossible feat with so many demands on your time. Family Carers Ireland provide family carers with information, knowledge, insights and practical tips to help you develop new understanding and skills important in your caring role while raising your awareness of self-care when providing care for a family member. They believe no one should have to care alone especially through the Covid-19 crisis. In partnership with The Dormant Accounts Fund, they offer family carers free online and phone counselling sessions.  If you would like to avail of this service or support with any other aspect of your caring role, you can freephone 1800 24 07 24 or click here for more information on their services.

They also have a range of online workshops on topics such as Dementia Care, Life after Caring, Managing Challenging Behaviours, Healthy Nutrition, Mental Health for Carers. You can view all upcoming online training workshops through the following link https://familycarers.ie/online-education-and-training/  If you have any queries about the workshop or registration you can email training@familycarers.ie.

#RCSItogether – Minding Yourself

Each day we connect and navigate our relationships with family and friends, colleagues and peers, patients, and ourselves.  Understanding yourself, knowing what motivates you and what stresses you, and identifying your habitual responses and the resources that can support you, are all key to building self-awareness, self-compassion and resilience. The RCSI Library have developed a Wellbeing Guide with a collection of inspiring and life-changing book recommendations that can support your personal wellbeing. These books can be borrowed from the libraries in York St and Beaumont Hospital when we reopen or can be purchased through sites such as the book depository or amazon. The Library have also developed a Meditation and Relaxation page with links to mindfulness meditations for calming the mind and relaxing the body. Access their resources here https://libguides.rcsi.ie/wellbeing

You might like to view this recent recording by 39 Irish female artists to raise funds for domestic abuse charity Safe Ireland. Dubbed ‘Irish Woman in Harmony’, the female singers and musicians recorded a cover of “Dreams,” a hit song in the 1990s for Irish group The Cranberries. You can view the beautiful recording here https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=130&v=Jv4MYqzg-P4&feature=emb_title

Two things to finish – firstly, a reminder that the next virtual Townhall is on Wednesday 15 July between 10 and 1130 – the focus will be on the safe return to campus and ‘Creating the next normal’.

Finally, a great cartoon from our own very talented Dr. Maria Boyle this week, aka @Twisted Doodles.


Take care of yourselves and each other,

Barry and the HR Team.