Many of us are facing challenges that can be stressful, overwhelming, and cause strong emotions. Public health actions, such as physical distancing, can make us feel isolated and lonely and increase stress and anxiety.
You, as a healthcare worker, should focus on looking after your well-being during the continued pandemic as it can help alleviate stress and is crucial in enabling you to still take calm and effective action during times like these.
A primary source of stress for frontline workers is day-to-day job stress, particularly during a crisis such as the COVID-19 pandemic and even though all restrictions have been lifted, it is not fully over yet.
Examples of job-related stress are working long hours, overwhelming responsibilities, poor communication and working in dangerous situations.
How to take care of yourself and your co-workers in the healthcare industry:
- Acknowledge that it is normal to feel stressed in your situation.
- Take care of your basic needs.
- Take time to eat, exercise, rest and relax, even for short periods.
- Be mindful of your work hours and communicate with your leader if those hours become unreasonable or unmanageable.
- Check in with co-workers to see how they are doing and have them check in with you.
- Find ways to support each other.
- Speak to your leader about keeping reasonable working hours, where possible, so you do not become too exhausted and burn out.
Your patients may still be experiencing various issues from COVID-19. If you are having an adverse response, help people remember:
- You are not responsible for solving everyone's issues. Do what you can to help people help themselves.
- Talk with friends, loved ones or other people you trust for support.
- Stay connected to friends, family, and community through phone, social media, or messaging apps. This keeps you safe and helps bridge the gap if you find yourself experiencing avoidance by friends, family, or community due to their fear or perceived stigma.
- Turn to your colleagues, your manager or someone you trust for social support - your colleagues may be having similar experiences to you.
The crisis situation and the needs of people you have met may have been very challenging, and it can be difficult to bear their pain and suffering. Taking time for rest and reflection is an essential part of balancing your well-being with the needs of others.
Helpful tips for your own recovery:
- Talk about your experience of helping in a crisis situation with a supervisor, colleague or someone else you trust.
- Acknowledge what you were able to do to help others, even in small ways.
- Learn to reflect on and accept what you did well, what did not go very well, and the limits of what you could do in the circumstances.
- Take some time, if possible, to rest and relax before beginning your work and life duties again.
- It is important to get support from someone you trust. Speak to a health care professional or, if available, a mental health specialist if you find yourself experiencing the following:
- Upsetting thoughts or memories about the event
- Feeling very nervous or extremely sad
- Having trouble sleeping
- Check out our mental health & well-being partners at Syked for all your mental health needs.
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