Back to Top Skip to main content Skip to sub-navigation

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...

Implementation Guidance for Presidential Memorandum, "Providing Federal Support for Governor's Use of the National Guard to Respond to COVID-19 ," Dated April 7, 2020

Publication
4/14/2020

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

Memorandum on Providing Federal Support for Governors' Use of the National Guard to Respond to COVID-19

Publication
4/14/2020

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

Delegation of Authority for Reserve Component Activation Authorities during the Coronavirus Disease 2019 Response

Publication
4/10/2020

This delegation assigns to the Service Secretaries the authority to activate Reserve Component personnel and to modify their orders as needed to employ and retain them for the COVID-19 response.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

Authorization to Employ Military Medical Capabilities to Treat COVID-19 Patients

Publication
4/8/2020

Effective immediately, the Commander, U.S Northern Command, is authorized, as he deems necessary and appropriate, to employ military medical capabilities under his operational control to treat patients who have contracted coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

Decision Memorandum on TRICARE Implementation of the "Families First Coronavirus Response Act"

Publication
4/7/2020

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act, Public Law 116-127, Division F, Section 6006(a), limits TRICARE authority to impose copayment or other cost-sharing for novel coronavirus (COVID-19) testing and related provider visits that result in orders for or administration of Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved, cleared, or authorized diagnostic products. In order for the Defense Health Agency (DHA) to implement, the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs (ASD(HA)) must acknowledge the self-executing authority of the statute and direct the Director, DHA, or designee, to issue guidance implementing the statutory provisions.

Recommended Content:

TRICARE Health Program | Coronavirus

DoD Guidance on the Use of Cloth Face Coverings

Publication
4/5/2020

Effective immediately, to the extent practical, all individuals on DoD property, installations, and facilities will wear cloth face coverings when they cannot maintain six feet of social distance in public areas or work centers (this does not include in a Service member's or Service family member's personal residence on a military installation).

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Public Health

Policy on Accessions and Accessions Training during the COVID-19 Outbreak

Publication
4/3/2020

The Military Departments must seek ways to maximize accessions in a responsible manner to minimize a reduction in military end strength and the potential deterioration of mid-and long-term readiness and capacity.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

Transition of Military Medical Treatment Facilities from Military Departments to the Defense Health Agency during the COVID-19 Response

Publication
4/2/2020

The Department's MTF transition plan is conditions-based. While the transition of MTFs to DHA is continuing, the COVID-19 response requirements are impacting DHA's ability to meet all required conditions. The need for the DHA and MILDEPs to refocus efforts away from the transition to support the COVID-19 response led to questions regarding the future of MTF Transition.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Military Health System Transformation

Pharmacy Guidance for Market MTFs

Publication
3/31/2020

Message to Pharmacy Beneficiaries regarding military pharmacy services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Pharmacy Division | TRICARE Health Program

Tiered Telehealth Health Care Support for COVID-19

Publication
3/31/2020

This memorandum establishes guidance for the use of Telehealth (TH) Information Technology (IT) tools in support of the clinical care required for patients across the spectrum of COVID-19 illness

Recommended Content:

TRICARE Health Program | Public Health | Coronavirus

Policy Exception for Telehealth Use for ABA during COVID-19 Pandemic

Publication
3/30/2020

Communication to ABA Providers Regarding Temporary Authorization to Utilize Telehealth for CPT Code 97156 During the COVID-19 National Emergency

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | TRICARE Health Program

Q & A: Policy Exception for Telehealth Use for ABA during COVID-19 Pandemic

Publication
3/30/2020

Question and Answer: TRICARE Autism Care Demonstration (ACD): Regarding Temporary Authorization to Utilize Telehealth for CPT Code 97156 during the COVID-19 National Emergency

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | TRICARE Health Program

COVID-19 Life Support Training Extension

Publication
3/19/2020

The purpose of this memorandum is to set policy guidance within the Military Health System for American Red Cross life support training (First Aid/cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)/automated external defibrillator (AED), Basic Life Support (BLS), Advanced Life Support (ALS), and Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS)).

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus
<< < 1 2 3 > >> 
Showing results 31 - 43 Page 3 of 3

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.