Mellow Your Stress in Just a Few Minutes
Recent news about the risks for healthcare professionals responding to COVID-19 has raised awareness of the critical demands they are facing. Frontline workers in the field of addiction and recovery or who are providing grief support are making sacrifices that are putting their physical and mental health and well being at risk.
One example of this is residential care staff helping folks 24-7 for weeks at a time because of positive COVID-19 test results and even deaths among residents and their families. Recovery workers have had to make adjustments to support those who no longer have access to in-person meetings or doctor appointments and who are at a higher risk of relapse without those supports. Still others are providing grief support to those who have suffered the loss of a colleague, friend or loved one to overdose at a time when there is no face-to-face support available and harm-reduction strategies are desperately compromised.
In response to these unprecedented times, a University of Buffalo professor recently developed a guide to mindful self-care guide to help reduce the overwhelming stress experienced by care providers. Research shows that mindful self-care for providers is crucial and can not only improve the care they are giving to those they serve, but also their own physical, mental and emotional needs.
She wrote the guidance for people with a busy lifestyle, who might think that self-care is a luxury they don’t have time for, when in fact, paying attention to these practices a few minutes a day can gradually reduce stress and prevent problems like PTSD and substance abuse. As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.