Self-Care resources for workers on the frontlines of Covid-19 coping with stress and change.

This week I worked with a regular client who is an ED nurse in Melbourne. I also had an ICU nurse reach out to me recently and have worked with several professionals from the mental health and heath care sector over the years and always admired their work. I just wanted to say it was a real honour to support my client who is working on the frontlines of this pandemic and it was also heartening having an insight into her work with patients suffering from some of the more extreme symptoms of Covid-19. It gives even greater faith in the goodness of our humanity and how we can and do find courage in the face of fear. I love how coaching is such a reciprocal relationship, it's not just an exchange of money but it's a relationship of trust and growth.

I'd been watching videos from a NYT journalist who went into a hospital Covid department in Harlem for a day and it was so shocking and I felt so worried. I cried and cried after reading the last texts between a daughter and her 60 year old mother; also a nurse nearing retirement but who died in hospital after contracting Covid. A Doctor from NHS in London recently followed me on IG and I saw his posts and sharing of his experience which flowed into the reservoir of empathy within. I was preparing for deep grief work but it seems Australia's healthcare system and ability to organise effectively has really made a difference to how we cope with and stay ahead of the virus and flatten the curve before the "apocalypse" hits. I feel a sense of pride about this even though I know our system is not perfect and we're still connected to the rest of the world that is moving through some pretty deep cycles of grief and wonder how will we all emerge at the other side?

While it is obvious to me that healthcare workers world wide do the very best job in taking care of sick patients this blog is for them when they leave work. It's an offering on how to take care of yourself too and move through change and stress resourcefully. It's just a few links I checked out with really sound advice, practices and recommendations for taking care of yourself after having been in a heightened state of stress all day which I know many of them are accustomed to - it's part of the territory but not the same level they are now experiencing. I have also suggested a few of my own coaching activities you can do at home to self-care. Feel free to share this with your colleagues, family and friends.

1. On the frontlines with Beyond Blue: BB recommend sleep, exercise, good nutrition to manage feeling overwhelmed by stress. Know feeling stress and anxiety is very normal. Getting support to manage the stress response. Practice Self care: debriefing with colleagues, mindfulness, and continue to do some activities you enjoy. Stay connected to family and close friends.

2. Rick Hanson’s podcast is really good for wellbeing and merges science and spirituality with practical things you can try in your own life. 

3. Brene Brown’s new podcast on Unlocking Us is really good

4. Write a list of all the things you love to do that nourish you. When feeling stressed look to your list and choose something to do.

5. Look at expectations you might be holding onto that are not realistic and see what you can let go of on a daily basis to create space for you to be ok with the way things are. 

6. Mindful Self-Compassion was created by a nurse to help with the stress of being someone who cared deeply about helping. Try some of the self-compassion activities in your journal or after work. Let yourself feel what you need to feel and bring compassion to it

7. Here’s 11 very good tips for coping with infectious disease. When you’re very focussed on doing your best at work but you can apply some of these in your life away from work to ensure you’re taking care of that aspect as well

8. Mindfulness tips for healthcare workers during the pandemic. You could plan to focus on implementing one a day

9. Insight Timer Meditation App is a free app with meditations for sleep, anxiety and stress with over 30,000 meditations.

10. Tune in to instagram@thecoachhub for Sunday Sessions at 7pm for self-care practices, skills and talks with some Melbourne based professionals.

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