Mental Health for Care Workers

Part 1

By Lil Cox

Much information has been circulated about maintaining ones mental health during social isolation, in order to flatten the Corona virus curve. Yet, many members of the In Balance community continue to attend their work in health and care worker roles. Never has there been a more important time “to look out” for your own personal mental health and well-being, in order to continue the essential work that you are doing.

Feeling under pressure is a likely experience for you. It is normal to feel this way, given the current situation. Stress and the feelings associated with it are by no means a reflection that you cannot do your job or that you are inadequate.

Take extra care of yourself at this time. Ensure you use helpful coping strategies such as getting sufficient rest and down time during work or between shifts. Seek out factual information from reliable sources and keep things in perspective. Take reasonable and well researched hygiene precautions. Eat sufficient and healthy foods, maintain your physical activity and stay in contact with family and friends. Practise mindfulness to give your body a chance to settle and readjust to a calm state. Avoid unhelpful coping strategies such as alcohol or other drugs or imagining the worst-case scenario.

The COVID-19 outbreak is a unique and unprecedented scenario for many workers. Even so strategies that have worked for you in the past to manage times of stress will be of benefit to you now. You are the person most likely to know how you can de stress. Do not hesitate in using these strategies now, to maintain your mental health and well being. We need you to!

This is not a sprint- it’s a marathon.