Seven ways to ease COVID-related stress Fighting the COVID pandemic for nearly a year has placed enormous psychological strains on many front-line health care providers Take 30 seconds to scan your body and identify places that may be holding on to tension or stress When you notice an area holding tension, gently release it Over time, it should become easier to recognize when stress is present, and do something about it
Grounding is a useful way to reduce anxiety and stay in the here and now. To do it:
Find a comfortable place to sit or stand Bring awareness to your body by stretching your neck from side to side, relaxing the shoulders, or stomping your feet Take a few minutes to notice the sights, sounds and scents around you As you do so, remind yourself that “The flashback or emotion I felt comes from the past. In this moment, I’m safe.”
When you feel yourself sinking, try writing positive statements such as:
I’m great at my job, and my training and skills are empowering I feel energized and ready for whatever awaits me today I accept myself as I am I’m safe in this moment
Box breathing is the technique of taking slow, deep breaths and is a good way to calm yourself and heighten your concentration. Do it by:
Exhaling slowly through the mouth, focusing on getting all the oxygen out of your lungs Inhale slowly and deeply through your nose for four slow counts Hold your breath for four more slow counts Exhale again for four counts until your lungs are empty
Keep a clip of a funny cartoon in your work area, or carry a notebook with jokes that always make you laugh
Sometimes emotions can become so overwhelming that they interfere with being able to do your job.
When that happens, try finding a private place where you can cry or do whatever else you need to vent your feelings until you feel able to return to work
If possible, get outside for a few minutes every day
When outside take deep breaths, stretch your arms and legs, and take in the gifts of nature Try finding someone to go with you so you can both let off steam Previous Next
Fighting the COVID pandemic for nearly a year has placed enormous psychological strains on many front-line health care providers. But there are steps people caring for COVID patients can take to reduce stress even while on the job, according to Diana Hendel, PharmD, and Mark Goulson, authors of
Why Cope When You Can Heal?: How Healthcare Heroes of COVID-19 Can Recover from PTSD. Read on for a few of their suggestions.