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Building Resilience in Response to COVID-19 for Healthcare Workers

COVID-19 is understandably leading to worry about the health and safety of ourselves and those close to us. Some healthcare workers may face exceptional challenges and more safety risks than the general population. It is beneficial to find ways to manage anxiety, enhance self-care and build resilience. Below are some considerations:

 Issues You May be Facing

· Risk of disease transmission

· Conflicts between personal and professional roles and demands

· Impact on family and loved ones

· Altered home life

· Strict infectious disease safety measures 

· Changing roles, settings and dynamics at work

· PPE and supply issues

· Dealing with surges in patients

· Staffing concerns

· Potential ethical dilemmas

Common Reactions

· Fear and anxiety about you or someone you know contracting the virus and the situation as a whole

· Physical reactions: headaches, upset stomach or muscle tension

· Anger and sadness about aspects of current situation

· Irritability: becoming easily angry or annoyed, or feeling “on edge”

· Difficulty concentrating: being preoccupied with thoughts related to the virus

· Insomnia: difficulty sleeping due to anxiety and worrying

· Information overload: repeatedly monitoring media and internet for the latest news on the virus

· Grief reaction to loss of regular life routines and connections

Meet Your Basic Needs

· Sleep: try to maintain your sleep schedule and get rest

· Nourishment: stay hydrated and maintain daily meals, eating as healthily as possible

· Maintain routine: try to create a daily routine as this enhances comfort and predictability

· Exercise: routinely engage in some form of exercise, even if it’s just in your home

· Social connection: stay connected with friends, family, coworkers, and communities


Cope with Worrisome Thoughts

· Increase awareness of catastrophic (disastrous) thinking; try to refocus on the facts

· Differentiate between thoughts that are spiraling and when you are productively problem solving; turn worrisome thoughts into action by creating a plan

· Do your best to identify what is within your control while accepting what is not

· Do things you enjoy; let go and engage in positive activities - this helps give your mind a break from worry and maintain balance

· Engage in resiliency practices such as deep breathing, meditation, prayer or other relaxation techniques that work for you

· Limit your intake of news, being mindful of the source and purposeful when viewing it

· Talk to your manager about concerns or suggestions for improvement in safety or workflow

· Talk to others about what you’re going through; feel free to reach out to the EAP


For Partners Healthcare employees and household members seeking help, please contact the EAP at 866-724-4327. 

In case of emergency, please call 911 or your local hospital emergency service. 

This content was last modified on: 04/01/2020

Partners EAP is not a service for the general public.

In case of emergency, please call 911 or your local hospital emergency service.

Call Us: 1-866-724-4EAP