The COVID-19 pandemic is taxing the human, material and financial resources of individuals, communities and countries around the world. This unprecedented public health crisis is impacting every aspect of daily life, but the toll on healthcare professionals in particular is immense.
Those on the front lines are caring for worried and suffering patients and families and working long, stressful hours. Some caregivers have been exposed and are quarantined, physically separated from their colleagues, families and usual sources of support. Others are voluntarily separating themselves from loved ones to avoid inadvertently exposing those at home to the virus. All are at significant risk for psychological distress and in need of crucial emotional support right now.
The Schwartz Center’s mission to put compassion at the heart of healthcare holds true no matter how extraordinary or difficult the circumstances.
Below are some tips and resources we have compiled to help caregivers find information they need to continue supporting each other and caring for themselves during this extremely difficult time. We will continue to update this page with additional information, so please check back.
REMEMBER SELF-CARE: Take time to monitor your stress levels and bodily needs. Remember to take breaks, exercise and, if possible, get outside. To be able to care for others, you need to take care of yourself.
STAY CONNECTED: Check in regularly with colleagues, family and friends, consult with peers and supervisors. If you’ve had to postpone Schwartz Rounds or other team meetings, use that time on your calendar for a virtual check-in with colleagues, on a virtual meeting platform, for instance, or invite colleagues to share a text about their experience of the outbreak. Support each other and seek support as best you can.
IF YOU’RE WORKING AT HOME: If possible, give yourself a dedicated workspace; any place in your home with internet access can be an office. Try to set an agenda for the day and create a regular routine. Remember to take breaks and connect with others. If there are other people in your home – partner, children, roommates – acknowledge that there might be distractions. Work together as a household and proactively communicate your situation to your manger. Be flexible and understanding with coworkers, family and yourself.
PRACTICE COMPASSION: Please know that your commitment to the health and wellbeing of others is respected and appreciated. Compassion is the driving force that unites us in our collective efforts. We will get through this together.
Why Social Support Matters for Frontline Caregivers Right Now
When Healthcare “Heroes” Need Help: Destigmatizing Mental Illness in the Healthcare Workforce
Grief, Loss and Mourning in the Time of COVID
Leading with Compassion: Supporting Healthcare Workers in a Crisis
Caring for Yourself & Others During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Managing Healthcare Workers’ Stress
Managing Traumatic Stress: Evidence-Based Guidance for Organizational Leaders
Caring with Compassion: Supporting Patients and Families in a Crisis
Communication in the Age of COVID
We Tell Ourselves Stories in Order to Heal: Processing Grief through the Written Word
Managing Our Fears and Stress: Strategies to Cultivate Emotional Agility
The Schwartz Center has partnered with the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Thrive Global to pilot The Health and Wellness For All Program, an initiative designed to promote the well-being of healthcare workers on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic and help them navigate with less stress and more resilience.Click Here
Supporting caregivers is at the heart of our work. We are introducing new programming and resources to address the challenges they are facing during this unprecedented time. Please consider giving today and help support the healthcare community for the duration of this pandemic.Donate