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COVID-19: Ways to Care for Yourself

Helping the Helpers During COVID-19

Most of us were drawn to this profession because we are “helpers.” We tend to give to others before taking care of ourselves. Many of us are juggling homeschooling children, taking care of our households, worrying about the health of loved ones, and dealing with financial concerns. This can lead to caregiver burnout, putting us at risk for mental health issues and challenges to our own immune systems. This document is intended to be a reminder of ways to stay balanced so that we can remain resilient in the face of this extraordinary time.

MHPG and ASRM have been working hard to distribute information about COVID-19 along with guidance about precautions that can be taken. We know you are following these, and we hope that they have been useful. Here are some resources for getting through this troubling time:
  • Get regular exercise
  • Eat healthfully and stay hydrated
  • Take regular breaks and try to do something enjoyable
  • Relax and meditate
  • Maintain social connections
  • Structure your day with goals and time blocks, but also modify the definition of a “good day” to meet the realities of the situation
  • Get enough sleep
These practices are, at best, challenging during this time when we are likely to be sheltering in place. Here are some resources that might help.
  • Many APPs on mobile devices provide guided relaxation exercises, anxiety reduction and meditations. The following list is not comprehensive but can be used as a start: CALM, HEADSPACE, OMVANA, SAM (Stress and Anxiety Management), and Breathe2Relax. There are also APPs for assisting with sleep.
  • Many music APPs, such as Spotify, ITunes, Pandora and others, host meditation and guided imagery tracks.
  • This website offers free daily meditations for healthcare workers: https://www.tenpercent.com/coronavirussanityguide.
  • Streaming services - Youtube and many private gyms offer fitness and yoga classes.
Staying in touch with others is critical during this time. Schedule regular video conferences with colleagues, friends, family members and others. Enjoy a virtual cocktail party, book club or peer consultation. Note that MHPG has scheduled a weekly Connections call to help us support each other during this time.

Find something funny to laugh about every day. A good, hearty laugh is good for the soul, especially now.

Find one positive experience you can share with someone each day. This helps us have a vision beyond the tunnel vision of anxiety and uncertainty of this pandemic.

Stay safe and healthy and keep in touch. Keep yourself in balance and don’t go to extremes in any area of your life!

A special thank you to authors Lauren Berman, Jean Benward, Lisa Shuman, Joann Galst, Ellen Winters Miller, and Karen Hall.

ASRM Announcements contain information of interest to members about ASRM and its affiliates, NIH, FDA, or CDC matters.

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