If you work in a healthcare setting and are experiencing additional stress because of the COVID-19 pandemic, call “Reach for Resilience” at (701) 365-4920 to be connected with a mental health expert who can provide support and resources 24/7.
Providing care to others during the COVID-19 pandemic can lead to stress, anxiety, fear, and other strong emotions. How you cope with these emotions can affect your well-being, the care you give to others while doing your job, and the well-being of the people you care about outside of work.
Recognize the Symptoms of Stress You May Be Experiencing
- Feeling irritation, anger, or denial
- Feeling uncertain, nervous, or anxious
- Feeling helpless or powerless
- Lacking motivation
- Feeling tired, overwhelmed, or burned out
- Feeling sad or depressed
- Having trouble sleeping
- Having trouble concentrating
The emotional toll it takes to respond to COVID-19 may lead to experiencing secondary traumatic stress. Secondary traumatic stress is stress reactions and symptoms resulting from exposure to another individual’s traumatic experiences, rather than from exposure directly to a traumatic event.
Ways to Reduce Secondary Traumatic Stress Reactions
- Acknowledge that secondary traumatic stress can impact anyone helping families after a traumatic event.
- Learn the symptoms including physical (fatigue, illness) and mental (fear, withdrawal, guilt)
- .Allow time for you and your family to recover from responding to the pandemic.
- Create a menu of personal self-care activities that you enjoy, such as spending time with friends and family, exercising, or reading a book.
- Take a break from media coverage of COVID-19.
- Ask for help if you feel overwhelmed or concerned that COVID-19 is affecting your ability to care for your family and patients as you did before the outbreak.
- Learn more tips for taking care of yourself during emergency response.
The North Dakota Department of Health (DoH) administers a critical incident stress management (CISM) system in order to provide assistance in developing healthy stress-coping mechanisms.
This free resource can be activated by calling State Radio at (800) 472-2121 seven days a week, 24 hours a day (page unit 6501).