coping-with-stress

Healthcare Professionals: Resources for Coping with Stress and Remaining Resilient During COVID-19

It is now more important than ever, during such great stress and uncertain times, that healthcare professional have the resources to cope with the chronic strain they are under. Healthcare professionals are taught to place their patients first, which is what they are depended upon in their roles. However, it is imperative that these courageous and brave professionals also have tools to be able to care for themselves and for coping with stress.

Recognizing the Signs of Stress and Burnout

  • Feeling uncertain, nervous and anxious
  • Feeling powerless
  • Feeling exhausted and overwhelmed
  • Having problems sleeping
  • Feeling irritated and angry
  • Lacking motivation
  • Difficulties concentrating and focusing
  • Experience depression
  • Headaches
  • Feeling jittery and shaky
  • Shortness of breath/Tightness in Chest
  • Muscle aches and pain
  • Appetite increase or decreases
  • Increased substance use

Recognizing the Signs of Compassion Fatigue and PTSD 

As result of experiencing or witnessing life threatening and traumatic events, some professionals, may develop Acute Stress Disorder, PTSD or secondary trauma (vicarious trauma) whereas others may not.

Skills for Coping with Stress 

You are fulfilling a crucial role in fighting this pandemic while doing the best you can with the resources you have available. Focus on what you have control over and try to let go of what is outside of your control.

  • Keep a daily routine with sleeping and eating
  • Brief relaxation/stress management breaks
  • Regular check-ins with colleagues, family and friends
  • Communicate with colleagues about work stress
  • Engage in mindfulness skills daily
  • Use self-talk that supports self-care as a priority
  • Seek therapy services for mental health support
  • Self-monitoring and pacing tasks
  • Work in partnerships/teams
  • Time-outs for basic care
  • Exercise when away from work
  • Avoid “working round the clock”
  • Reduce reliance on substances
  • Get breaks from social media/news

Feel Better Now by Coping with Stress 

Below are some useful guided stress management skills to help you cope.

 

  1. Three Daily Mindfulness Practices for Healthcare Workers led by a physician
  2. COVID Coach Phone App – Veteran’s Administration
  3. 10 Minute Practice to Ground, Breathe and Soothe
  4. Body Scan Meditation

Family Psychology Associates is here to provide support during this difficult time. We offer flexible hours for appointments and take most major insurances. Please contact our Safety Harbor (727-725-8820) or Trinity Offices (727-203-3770) to schedule an appointment through our telemental health and online counseling services.

Sources:

  1. CDC – Healthcare Personnel and First Responders: How To Cope with Stress and Build Resilience During COVID-19 Pandemic
  2. PTSD: National Centers for PTSD – Understand PTSD
  3. Mindful.org – Three Daily Mindfulness Practices
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