The past 6 months have been a roller coaster between the death of Kobe Bryant which impacted me greatly since I grew up watching him. To the start of COVID-19 and being in quarantine for a little over 3 months. Now many would say, how do you keep your mind straight and not lose your mind while working from home all day to then logging into class on the same laptop you were just working on. My answer may vary from yours, it all depends on how you deal with stress. My escape from it is just getting into my car and aimlessly driving around town. Yours might be exercising or reading a book.
There are two components of self care and they are physical and mental. The Mayo Clinic Health System provides tips in how to practice physical healthy,” eating healthy, sleep 7-8 hours a night, stretch, spend time outside.” But the one that take more strength and determination in my opinion is mental health. They Mayo Clinic recommends “set and maintain a routine at home, focus on things you can control, maintain social connections with your loved ones” The one that sticks out the most is focusing on the things you can control. Many people love to be in control of their lives but a lot of what happens is out of our hands and it is important to not get lost in trying to figure out why things happen but instead learning how to control the things that are able to be tamed.
But I think it is important to highlight the importance the individuals who have been on the front lines during this pandemic who have experienced immense amounts of stress with little time to deal with it. According to the American Psychiatric Nurses Association a way to manage stress is to exercise self-compassion “almost everyone impacted by an emergency will experience psychological distress”… “It is easy to play up the importance of self-care to our patients while downplaying it to ourselves…give yourself permission to schedule even a few moments for self-care each day.” This reminds of what Van Der Kolk states in The Body Keeps the Score “When chronically stressed, tension builds up within the body.” ( pg.266) which is why nurses and people who work in public health should definitely not feel guilty for wanting some alone time to keep a healthy mind.
Managing Stress & Self-Care During COVID-19: Information for Nurses. (n.d.). Retrieved June 22, 2020, from https://www.apna.org/m/pages.cfm?pageID=6685
Self-care tips during the COVID-19 pandemic. (n.d.). Retrieved June 22, 2020, from https://www.mayoclinichealthsystem.org/hometown-health/speaking-of-health/self-care-tips-during-the-covid-19-pandemic