The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in unprecedented times resulting in a plethora of new stresses for all of us, particularly nurses, doctors, paramedics and other healthcare professionals. During these tough times, it is imperative to take care of your mental and physical well-being to emerge peacefully out of the storm. Here are a few ways to take care of your mental and emotional health:
To stay mentally fit, you need to be physically fit as well. Exercise is a great way to boost your mood and release hormones that gives you a sense of contentment. As a healthcare professional, you might be extremely busy with the onset of the pandemic. However, take out 45 minutes from your busy schedule and exercise. You don't need to go to any gym or trainer to be physically fit, rather YouTube is filled with Yoga, strength training, Zumba, and other fitness videos to keep you going.
While you may be trying to stay away from your loved ones to keep them safe, it doesn't necessarily mean that you can't connect with them digitally. FaceTime your loved ones, have Zoom family bonding sessions or simply call them from your phone. In these pressing times, all you need is a shoulder to lean on – doesn't matter if it is virtually.
As a healthcare worker, you work long shifts, but you also deserve a break. For your mental and physical wellbeing, give 15 minutes to yourself, switch off all your devices, and meditate. Put on some soothing tune, fold your legs and simply breathe in and breathe out. The meditation will help you organize your thoughts, enhance your vision and foster positive vibes.
As a healthcare professional, you are already well aware of the statistics, graphs, mortality rate and other grave details pertaining to COVID-19. This can have an adverse toll on your physical and mental wellbeing. Moreover, since you are on the frontline, these alarming figures can also affect your loved ones. The best way to keep yourself and your family safe from an emotional breakdown is to stay away from the media as much as possible.
Often healthcare professionals don't get the time to organize their schedules due to the long shifts and commitments. However, it is your duty to take out time for yourself to stay happy physically and mentally. Take out time for the little things that keep you going. For instance, you can read your favorite book, listen to your favorite brand, follow a skincare regime or just sleep to relax yourself.
Many times, the conditions in the ER, ward or ICU can take a toll on your mental and emotional wellbeing. It is not easy to see people dying and that too at such a regular interval. As a doctor, you may be used to difficult situations, but the COVID-19 is a different scenario altogether. In these times, you need to keep your mind clear to be able to function properly. Reading a book or digest can give you the distraction you've longed for. Even when you are at work, keep a book with you and whenever you get some time, just read it to give your mind a well-deserved break
As a healthcare professional, you come in contact with hazardous substance, contaminants, and other Bacteria that can spread to your loved ones. The COVID-19 pandemic has further aggravated this issue. If you are working at the hospital or clinic, wear PPE at all times. Take a bath before leaving work premise, disinfect your scrubs and devices, and try to change your clothes again before entering your home. While all these steps can be taxing, they are important for the wellbeing of you and your loved ones.
Remember, anxiety is extremely normally and for healthcare professionals, the probability of developing the ailment is higher. The key to keeping yourself fresh and active is to limit your exposure to media and adopt those practices that ensure mindfulness. At this point, stop thinking about what will happen in the future, rather seek happiness from the small things. It is indeed a difficult phase, but remember; this too shall pass.