While most of us are staying home to help flatten the curve, healthcare professionals are risking their physical and mental health on the frontlines. As companies navigate this new reality and determine the best way to support healthcare professionals during this extraordinary time, we wanted to give a shout out to the work being done by the behavioral health consulting practice VITAL WorkLife. Their continued passion and support for health care professionals is truly inspiring and could not be more needed during this crisis.
In an effort to share information and give insight into what healthcare professionals are experiencing, we are reposting these great tips for coping from VITAL WorkLife and the Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress (CSTS). Perhaps you know someone who could benefit from them – please use and share where you can.
10 valuable tactics for healthcare workers to help sustain well-being during this difficult time:
- Meet basic needs: make sure to maintain regular eating, drinking and sleeping habits.
- Take breaks: allow yourself time to rest from caring for patients. Whenever you can, give yourself something fun or calming to do that is unrelated to work. Whether it’s going for a walk, listening to music or an uplifting podcast, reading a book or calling a friend, it’s important to take breaks to rest, as it leads to better care of your patients.
- Talk with your colleagues: connecting with your colleagues provides support for one another as outbreaks like this can cause people to isolate themselves due to fear and anxiety.
- Communication is key: when you are communicating with your colleagues, make sure it’s in a clear and optimistic manner. Compliment one another, share your frustrations as well as solutions. These types of conversations can be motivating!
- Connect with family: be in touch with your loved ones, people outside of healthcare that are your support system.
- Respect differences: recognize that your colleges, patients, friends and family cope with stressful situations differently. Some may prefer to talk about it while others prefer to be alone.
- Stay updated: tune in to reliable sources, stay informed of the situation and any current or future plans.
- Limit media exposure: while it is important to stay updated, it’s also important to take breaks from media coverage and focus on yourself and what you can control.
- Self check-ins: make sure to monitor yourself, be aware of symptoms of depression or stress disorder—prolonged sadness, issues sleeping, intrusive memories, hopelessness. In any case, talk to a peer, supervisor or seek professional help.
- Honor your service: remember you are working a noble profession, caring for patients in a highly stressful time. Honor yourself and your colleagues for their service.