It is completely normal to feel stressed or overwhelmed during these uncertain times. Some normal emotions in response to the uncertainty may include anxiety, fear, anger, sadness, helplessness, discouragement, and feeling out of control.
In addition, some normal physical responses may include headaches, muscle tension, fatigue, sleep problems, and change in appetite or energy level. Here are some self-care tips recommended specifically for healthcare professionals.
Tips for Self-Care to Promote Well-Being
- Take breaks, eat nutritious food, get plenty of sleep and exercise
- Avoid harmful behaviors such as: alcohol and/or substance abuse, gambling, or ignoring public health and safety recommendations
- Use good judgment and social distancing
- Stay connected with others through electronic means and phone calls
- Maintain your normal routine whenever possible
- Identify something to look forward to
- Use healthy personal distractions: music, exercise, cooking, and hobbies
- Get outdoors for fresh air – follow social distance guidelines
- Above all else, be gentle and kind with yourself and loved ones
- Maintain your social connections with loved ones, supportive people, and friends through recommended safe means for contact such as electronic devices
- Consider a check-in schedule with others to assure safety
- Take advantage of the altered schedule to focus on your family and friends
- Help others through blood donation, check in with elderly friends and neighbors, and take other steps to help the community
- Acknowledge and appreciate what others are doing to help
Free Online Wellness Apps
In addition to the tips above, there are many online apps that are now offering free or extended services for healthcare professionals during the pandemic. Some of these include:
Headspace: This meditation and sleep app is free right now with your NPI number and email. You can sign up for Headspace here.
Fitness Blender: This free exercise website was recommended by a wellness coach at Mayo Clinic's Dan Abraham Healthy Living Center. View Fitness Blender here.
Here is a great article with a list of apps that are currently offering free services.
Get the Support You Need
If any of the following become persistent or interfere with your daily functioning, they may be signs that you should seek emotional support or help from a professional:
- Trouble focusing on daily activities
- Anxiety that turns into feelings of being out of control
- Strong feelings that interfere with daily activities
- Feeling out of control or having emotions that become difficult to manage
- Feelings of hopelessness or helplessness
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website provides resources for people dealing with emotional distress or a crisis. You can also call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Disaster Distress Hotline at 1-800-985-5990 or text "talkwithus" to 66746. People with deafness or hearing loss can use preferred relay service to call 1-800-985-5990.
Resources and More Information
- Managing Stress and the Threat of COVID-19
- Talking to Children about COVID-19
- Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
The physical and mental well-being of our healthcare professionals is crucial during these difficult times. Thank you again for all that you do!