Back to Top Skip to main content

In a COVID-19 world, pace yourself to stay resilient and avoid burnout

Kelly Blasko, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist and the lead for mobile health clinical integration at the Defense Health Agency Connected Health branch. She shares what providers can do to pace themselves and use self-care practices and tools to stay resilient and avoid burnout. (DoD photo by Savannah Blackstock) Kelly Blasko, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist and the lead for mobile health clinical integration at the Defense Health Agency Connected Health branch. She shares what providers can do to pace themselves and use self-care practices and tools to stay resilient and avoid burnout. (DoD photo by Savannah Blackstock)

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Coronavirus

Remember before the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, when we medical providers all thought we were stressed out? Me neither. Since cases started erupting earlier this year, it feels like everyone is in crisis mode 24/7, and it is still unknown when these unprecedented conditions will ease up, let alone end.

The relentless pace, mounting tension, and general uncertainty are already taking their toll. All of us are searching for information to continue to give the best care possible to our beneficiaries. Clinicians, medics, nurses, technologists, and technicians inside the Military Health System and out are facing burnout, including compassion fatigue and secondary traumatic stress. If we don’t take care of ourselves the pool of providers will decrease while the demand for care increases.

Our response to COVID-19 is a marathon, not a sprint. Right now, one of the best things we providers can do is to pace ourselves and use self-care practices and tools. That is the only way we can stay resilient enough to win in the long run. If we don’t take care of ourselves when we need it, we can’t give patients the best possible care when they need it.

You can start pacing your work activity and including self-care with these three easy steps:

  1. Recognize the signs of burnout: Four of the most common are anxiety, low mood, irritability, disengagement, and exhaustion.
  2. Take self-care breaks when you see the signs. Distract yourself briefly (10 minutes is fine) with activities that increase your happiness and peace of mind. Wearable technology is useful in scheduling reminders to assess how you’re feeling.
  3. Cultivate a positive work environment. We’re all in this together and it’s important we lift each other up. Positive words for teamwork, kudos, praise, recognition can’t be overused in this current state.

Self-care means something different for everyone, and we want to help you in any way we can during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our Provider Resilience Toolkit contains free, evidence-based digital health tools developed by psychologists specifically designed to promote self-care, including the following Defense Health Agency apps:

  • Provider Resilience App offers self-assessments and stress reduction tools along with a dashboard to track your daily resilience rating. This app is foundational to ensure provider resilience (Available in the App Store)
  • Virtual Hope Box contains personalized tools to help you with positive coping, through relaxation, distraction, and connecting to others in a time of need. (Available in the App Store and Google Play)
  • Breathe2Relax teaches diaphragmatic breathing to de-escalate stress (Available in the App Store and Google Play)
  • The Military Meditation Coach Podcast teaches relaxation exercises and tips that help providers keep their mental health on track (https://www.health.mil/podcasts)

Driven by our mission to serve our patients, we are used to giving our all, every day. It is hard to pull back – even temporarily – when circumstances demand so much of us, but we must. The only way we will get through this is to take care of ourselves and each other.

Kelly Blasko, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist and the lead for mobile health clinical integration at the Defense Health Agency Connected Health branch.

Disclaimer: Re-published content may be edited for length and clarity.  Read original post.

 

You also may be interested in...

Navy unit provided COVID-19 support to Peruvian First Responders

Article
10/16/2020
Fireman getting COVID test in firehouse garage

The province of Callao has the second highest number of COVID-19 cases in Peru.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Global Health Engagement

COVID-19 Social Media Toolkit

Publication
10/16/2020

These messages are provided for you to use on your platforms with any of the images from the COVID-19 Toolkit.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

DHA Director outlines how MHS standardization bolsters reform

Article
10/15/2020
Two soldiers in masks, talking

How COVID-19 repositioned the best laid plans of the DoD.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Joint Health Information Exchange | MHS GENESIS | MHS Transformation

Annual flu vaccine remains a health priority during COVID-19 era

Article
10/13/2020
Military personnel getting flu shot

Annual vaccine is a covered TRICARE benefit.

Recommended Content:

Immunization Healthcare | Vaccine-Preventable Diseases | Public Health | Coronavirus

Pilot DoD/VA hearing program virtually trains technicians

Article
10/9/2020
Military personnel sitting in front of laptop

HCE virtually trains hearing technicians during COVID-19.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Hearing Loss

MHS Minute: Heroes Behind the Mask

Video
10/8/2020
Image of MHS Minute Carousel

In the face of a global threat, healthcare heroes across the MHS have donned their mask, and served on the front line of the battle against COVID-19. Tune in to this month's "MHS Minute" to learn more!

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

DHA priorities focused on readiness, patients, outcomes

Article
10/7/2020
Defense Health Agency Director Army Lt. Gen. Ronald Place speaks at a podium.

Adaptation key to providing outstanding care to beneficiaries.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Combat Support | Access to Health Care | Coronavirus | Convalescent Plasma Collection Program

‘I am Navy Medicine’ – helping another in need - Hospitalman Grace Pridmore of NMRTC Bremerton

Article
10/7/2020
Corpsman conviction of care, compassion and competence…Hospitalman Grace Pridmore, from Kellyville, Okla., assigned to Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Command (NMRTC) Bremerton Detachment Puget Sound Naval Shipyard (PSNS), was acknowledged for her selfless effort by Capt. Shannon J. Johnson, NMRTC Bremerton commanding officer, for identifying another Sailor at risk and taking quick action to help get the Sailor to the appropriate level of care, very possibly saving a life (official Navy photo by Douglas H Stutz, NHB/NMRTC Bremerton public affairs officer).

It takes more than just awareness to respond to someone showing signs of distress.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Mental Health Care | Mental Wellness

Maintaining positive social media interactions during COVID-19

Article
10/2/2020
Image of soldier looking at his cell phone

Experts discuss good, bad of social media during pandemic.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

Defense Health Agency celebrates seven years of service

Article
10/1/2020
Lt. Gen. Ronald Place holding a wreath at Arlington National Cemetery

Seven ways DHA has improved military readiness over the years.

Recommended Content:

Defense Health Agency | Coronavirus | MHS Transformation | Technology | Global Health Engagement | TRICARE Health Program | Total Force Fitness

Easy steps to understanding & thwarting depression during COVID-19

Article
9/30/2020
Five people sitting on yoga mats outside in the grass

Learning self-care strategies can help you take charge of your life and improve your mental and physical health.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Mental Health Care | Depression

Beale AFB clinic launches new EHR -- MHS GENESIS

Article
9/29/2020
Photo of Travis Callihan

This new EHR will provide a better level of care for all Department of Defense beneficiaries.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | MHS GENESIS

Army SHARP/SAPR’s awareness creates a safe culture at JBLE

Article
9/25/2020
Image of teal ribbon against soldier's uniform

Remaining on guard against sexual harassment/assault despite pandemic.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Sexual Assault Prevention

USU Task Force addresses nutrition and lifestyle’s role in resiliency

Article
9/24/2020
Woman cutting a steak on a plate, with corn

A personal protective lifestyle (PPL) and nutrition (PPN) could be your key to resiliency in the face of COVID-19.

Recommended Content:

Nutrition | Coronavirus

PSNS Hospitalman consistently steps up to meet the mission

Article
9/23/2020
Man wearing a mask in an office environment

The ‘Rad Health’ program is cited as the ‘gold standard’ by Naval Sea Systems Command and BUMED audits.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 31 - 45 Page 3 of 20

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing. Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.