Emotional Well-Being During the COVID-19 Crisis for Health Care Provider...

Healthcare Personnel and First Responders: How to Cope with Stress and Build Resilience During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Providing care to others during the COVID-19 pandemic can lead to stress, anxiety, fear, and other strong emotions. How you cope with these emotions can affect your well-being, the care you give to others while doing your job, and the well-being of the people you care about outside of work. During this pandemic, it is critical that you recognize what stress looks like, take steps to build your resilience and cope with stress, and know where to go if you need help.

Mechanisms in neurobiology which help physicians and caregivers to deal with covid-19 patients.

Recognize the symptoms of stress you may be experiencing.
  1. Feeling irritation, anger, or denial
  2. Feeling uncertain, nervous, or anxious
  3. Feeling helpless or powerless
  4. Lacking motivation
  5. Feeling tired, overwhelmed, or burned out
  6. Feeling sad or depressed
  7. Having trouble sleeping
  8. Having trouble concentrating
Tips to cope and enhance your resilience.

Communicate with your coworkers, supervisors, and employees about job stress.
Talk openly about how the pandemic is affecting your work.
Identify factors that cause stress and work together to identify solutions.
Ask about how to access mental health resources in your workplace.
Remind yourself that everyone is in an unusual situation with limited resources.
Identify and accept those things which you do not have control over.
Recognize that you are performing a crucial role in fighting this pandemic and that you are doing the best you can with the resources available.
Increase your sense of control by keeping a consistent daily routine when possible — ideally one that is similar to your schedule before the pandemic.
Try to get adequate sleep.
Make time to eat healthy meals.
Take breaks during your shift to rest, stretch, or check in with supportive colleagues, coworkers, friends and family.
When away from work, get exercise when you can. Spend time outdoors either being physically activity or relaxing. Do things you enjoy during non-work hours.
Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting and mentally exhausting, especially since you work with people directly affected by the virus.
If you feel you may be misusing alcohol or other drugs (including prescriptions), ask for help.
Engage in mindfulness techniques, such as breathing exercises and meditation.
If you are being treated for a mental health condition, continue with your treatment and talk to your provider if you experience new or worsening symptoms.

Stress and Coping

Stress during an infectious disease outbreak can include
  • Fear and worry about your own health and the health of your loved ones
  • Changes in sleep or eating patterns
  • Difficulty sleeping or concentrating
  • Worsening of chronic health problems
  • Worsening of mental health conditions
  • Increased use of alcoholtobacco, or other drugs
Self assessment and inventory.

People who may respond more strongly to the stress of a crisis include

Older people and people with chronic diseases who are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19
Children and teens
People who are helping with the response to COVID-19, like doctors, other health care providers, and first responders
People who have mental health conditions including problems with substance use
Pre-existing conditions
High risk categories...age, chronic illness, emotional wellness

Note: Self assessment can be very difficult. Due to peer pressure, shaming and self esteem issues it is very easy to be in denial.  Ask for help when you feel overwhelmed and/or inadequate.  Others are experiencing these feelings as well. Sharing is caring.

Hopefully this post will help those on the front lines of the covid pandemic.

Please consult with a trusted professional before acting on information in this post.

Stay safe !