Answer Bank: How can COVID-19 frontline workers manage stress?
As of the end of June, the coronavirus has infected over 10 million people across the world. Meanwhile, millions of frontline workers are still risking their lives, dealing with life-and-death situations. If you are one of them and are finding it hard to handle your stress, here are some tips:
1. Embrace your emotions
Give yourself the chance to embrace ups and downs. If you feel joyful and tearful after saving a life, just express those emotions and don't forget to encourage your colleagues. Positive messages spread faster than the virus. If you are frustrated, open up to your friends, family or loved ones, as this can release feel-good hormones.
2. Set a good routine
Treat yourself in the same kind way that you treat your patients. When possible, getting good sleep, eating well-balanced meals on time, adapting a relevantly regular work routine can help you recharge your batteries.
3. Relax yourself
When your "risk radar" becomes too sensitive, try to switch it off by simply sitting in the sun to get some vitamin D or listening to music. You can also try mindfulness exercises to find inner peace.
When you are off duty, stay informed but stop browsing coronavirus news all the time. You can also do yoga, go for a run or engage in other sports to strengthen your immune system.
4. Seek professional help
If you are overwhelmed and find it hard to handle stress, anxiety and fear, for your own health, don't hesitate to seek professional psychological counseling.
5. Acknowledge your limits
You are our heroes, especially at times like this. But if negative emotions are taking over and you find yourself constantly worried about losing your patients and loved ones, try to admit that you are only human and that you don't have power over everything.
The good news is that scientists are racing for a vaccine and potential drugs are undergoing clinical trials.
COVID-19 is going to be here for a while, but as the saying goes, "This too shall pass." Stay healthy and stay strong. Thank you for playing a huge part in helping us stay safe.
(Video filmed by Zhang Yi and Pan Zhaoyi; Cover image designed by Jia Jieqiong)