- REMEMBER SELF-CARE: Take time to monitor your stress levels and bodily needs. Remember to take breaks, exercise and, if possible, get outside. To be able to care for others, you need to take care of yourself.
- STAY CONNECTED: Check in regularly with colleagues, family and friends, consult with peers and supervisors. Since we have cancelled all team meetings, use the time on your calendar for a virtual check-in with colleagues and invite colleagues to share a text about their experience of the outbreak. Support each other and seek support as best you can.
- IF YOU'RE WORKING AT HOME: If possible, give yourself a dedicated workspace; any place in your home with internet access can be an office. Try to set an agenda for the day and create a regular routine. Remember to take breaks and connect with others. If there are other people in your home – spouse, children, roommates – acknowledge that there might be distractions. Work together as a household and proactively communicate your situation to your manger. Be flexible and understanding with coworkers, family and yourself.
- RESPECT DIFFERENCES: Some people need to talk while others need to be alone. Recognize and respect these differences in yourself, your patients and your colleagues.
- STAY UPDATED: Rely on trusted sources of information. Review the MIV to stay informed of the situation, plans and events.
- LIMIT MEDIA EXPOSURE: Graphic imagery and worrisome messages will increase your stress and may reduce your effectiveness and overall well-being.
- SELF CHECK-INS: Monitor yourself over time for any symptoms of depression or stress disorder: prolonged sadness, difficulty sleeping, intrusive memories, hopelessness. Talk to a peer, supervisor, or seek professional help if needed.
- HONOR YOUR SERVICE: Remind yourself that despite obstacles or frustrations, you are fulfilling a noble calling—taking care of those most in need. Recognize your colleagues—either formally or informally—for their service.
- PRACTICE COMPASSION: Please know that your commitment to the health and well-being of others is respected and appreciated. Compassion is the driving force that unites us in our collective efforts. Demonstrate patience, compassion, gratitude, and love. We will get through this together.
Shared by Dr. Sanjay Ghandi and Medical Staff at Metro Health, Cleveland, OH
Source: Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress, Uniformed Services University (2020).