The COVID-19 pandemic has added an unprecedented dimension of stress to all of our lives. Healthcare workers are now feeling the weight of all of this change, uncertainty, and risk. Constantly experienced anxiety, fear, and worry may make it difficult for healthcare workers to focus on looking after their own needs. Nowadays, 4 out of 10 nurses and surgeons report signs of burnout and struggle with managing stress during the coronavirus outbreak. However, as the increasing number of people is looking to medical professionals to provide care and support, it becomes more important than ever to make time to look after themselves so that they have energy reserved to care for the most vulnerable, including those with physical and mental health needs. In our today’s article, we’re going to take a look at some simple yet quite effective ideas to cope with COVID-19.
#1 Practice Self-Compassion
This is a time of stress and anxiety for so many people, so it’s important to remind yourself that you are humans and that the commonly experienced negative emotions are normal. It’s impossible for a medical professional to completely disconnect from the feelings of fear. So, allow yourself to be gentle with yourself. And remember to focus on the things you do control, instead of beating your brains out trying to figure out how to tackle what’s beyond your control.
#2 Unwind and Find Diversions
As any professional, a healthcare provider is not immune to burnout. To manage your stress, take time to unwind. Try to do some activities you enjoy such as reading, watching TV, doing yoga, playing with kids, or walking your dog. When you focus on danger, our anxiety grows. But when you distract yourself and turn your attention elsewhere it tends to shrink. So finding distractions throughout the day can really help lower your stress levels.
#3 Attend to the Basics and Visualize
Other Ideas include attending to the basics like deep breathing, meditating, healthy eating, exercise, journaling, and doing creative projects. Sometimes instead of focusing on where you actually are it can be helpful to picture and imagine in your mind where you want to be. Visualizations can really go a long way toward reducing stress and regaining positive mindset.
#4 Prioritize Sleep
Sleep is going to be really important but for some people much more difficult during times of stress. Some things to keep in mind are setting a sleep schedule, cutting down on caffeine, and putting your phone away at night before you go to bed.
#5 Reach Out
Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for help in your time of need. It can be supportive to let other people know how you feel or get a different perspective from family, friends, or colleagues. You might also want to connect with existing or new professional supports, including mental health practitioners.
#6 Use Trusted Sources and Limit Exposure
It’s not a secret that fear and anxiety can be fueled by misinformation. Try to stick to facts from valued and trusted sources of information. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can negatively affect your mental and physical health, as well as your overall performance. It’s a good idea to take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to new uncomforting news, including social media.
#7 Maintain an Optimistic Mindset
Remind yourself that you’re a resilient person and a good professional. The misfortunes that have befallen us will end. Don’t underestimate what you’re able to do when faced with challenging times.
In a time of crisis, healthcare workers, whose primary goal is to keep patients calm and comfortable, find themselves under a lot of pressure. Now that COVID-19 is riding the crest of the wave, more and more caregivers begin to experience chronic fatigue, depression, frustration, and other symptoms associated with the burnout syndrome. Hopefully, the simple coping strategies mentioned above will help you bounce back from negative emotional experiences and continue helping your patients.
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