The pandemic is far from over—we are again faced with fears and uncertainties. It can be helpful to remind people to focus on what is in their control and to lean on their support systems.
Unfortunately, the pandemic is far from over. While many of us began to experience excitement and relief over the semblance of a new normal earlier this year, with the new surge of COVID-19 cases we are now confronted with fears and great uncertainty . . . again. Constantly trying to adapt to these changes can be emotionally exhausting for patients and clinicians, and result in feelings of anxiety, grief, and sadness. It can be helpful to remind ourselves of our resilience and call on our previous coping strategies. Here are some useful tips to share with colleagues and patients. We can do this . . . again.
1. Accept what is in your control and what is not. Focus on what is in your control.
2. Call on your support system, even if it’s virtual.
3. Practice mindfulness.
Ground yourself into the present moment instead of focusing on stories or worst-case scenarios. Go out in nature, close your eyes and listen to the sounds around you.
4. Practice gratitude.
Even amidst stress we can find things to be grateful for. List a few of these in the morning or before bed.
5. Seek professional help if your current coping strategies don’t seem sufficient or if you’re having difficulty functioning in some realm of your life.
Different individuals have different methods of coping with stress and change. Think creatively about your coping strategies and practice these tools with self-compassion and kindness.
This piece expresses the views solely of the author. It does not represent the views of any organization, including Johns Hopkins Medicine.