Q&A: Dealing with the stress of the COVID-19 pandemic
Q: A recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that approximately 50% of heatlhcare workers in China experienced depression and nearly 45% had anxiety. How should healthcare workers handle the emotional stress that comes with working during the COVID-19 pandemic?
A: There are several key steps healthcare workers can take during this time. The top recommendations are as follows:
Take care of yourself physically. Focus on eating nutritious foods, getting plenty of sleep, and exercising. Getting regular exercise helps you sleep more soundly.
Reach out. Be open with you co-workers and supervisors about the stress you are experiencing. The discussion may prompt your team to come up with solutions that can help. And you may not be the only one experiencing such feelings.
Reestablish a sense of normalcy. Take time out of the day for a leisurely walk or a phone call with a friend. Try to stick to a regular schedule.
Take time to reset. Devote a few minutes per day to relaxation and deep breathing exercises. Ellen Fink-Samnick, MSW, ACSW, LCSW, CCM, CRP of EFS Supervision Strategies LLC in Burke, Virginia recommends online resources like Calm and Moodfit.
For more information, read the June issue of Case Management Monthly.