During such an unforeseen crisis like COVID-19, it is natural for everyone to undergo higher levels of anxiety and distress due to social isolation. Doctors along with other frontline healthcare professionals are especially vulnerable to poor mental health. This is because they try their best to balance their duty towards the patients and their own health concerns. It is very important for healthcare professionals to manage their own well-being along with caring for the patients during the pandemic.
Sodexo: Its efforts for the employees: But the silver lining to the dark cloud is that many organizations are now launching on-site counseling services for the healthcare employees so that they can deal with all kinds of unprecedented negativities. One of the brightest instances of this benevolence is the measure taken by Sodexo for supporting their frontline key employees who are working in hospitals with an acute crisis. It was initiated at Manchester University by an expert psychotherapist back in June. Here, a group of dedicated counselors is ready to sit face to face with the healthcare staff who has requested an appointment.
According to the opinion of the CEO of Sodexo, healthcare professionals are performing their duties in the face of the highest crisis. The HR and development team have fortunately realized the negative effects of COVID-19 on both emotions as well as the mental health of their employees.
Sodexo has always offered a broad range of healthcare tools along with this new service to help employees tackle the worst kind of work pressure. This approach has been developed after a review of the pandemic response of Sodexo. It has been devised for responding to the requirements of frontline supervisory and employees for management.
The service is given across all large and medium acute healthcare facilities and has been launched for a trial period of 3 months. When this is successful, this provision will be evaluated as well as expanded across other organizations as well.
Your responsibilities towards yourself: Though safety is of prime concern in this crisis, not all organizations are able to offer such elaborate counseling services to all of their employees. The best thing you can do then is to take care of yourself. Addressing your own mental issues while caring for the sufferers of COVID-19 is as crucial as attending to your physical health. Here are some simple tips that can help you cope up with the situation.
- Acknowledging your own feelings: You and your whole team may have to work under a massive mental pressure owing to the potential rise in demands for caregivers, risk of viral infection, and shortage of necessary equipment along with regular stressors. Many people feel that if they experience stress and anxiety at work, it mirrors their unprofessionalism and efficiency of work. But this is not true. Experiencing mental stress is not a sign of weakness but a means to help you cope up with it.
- Make space for coping strategies: There must be some strategies and measures that have helped you overcome stress in the last. It can be some commonplace things like getting enough rest, taking short breaks at work, eating healthy food at work, doing some physical exercise, and staying in touch with close friends and family.
- Self-monitoring: You should monitor yourself to find out whether you are exhibiting symptoms of anxiety or stress disorder, sleep difficulty, unwanted yet intrusive memories, and feelings of despair. If you find that you are suffering from any of them, however mild they are, you should talk to a trusted supervisor or colleague. If these symptoms worsen over time, then you should seek professional advice.
- Staying away from social media and negative news: When you are already burdened with so much pressure, there is no need of increasing it by taking resort to social media and negative news. When you come online, you should rather focus your attention on information from reliable sources. It is very important to understand that there is no need to take in everything that is produced in a cycle of 24 hours
- Keep in mind the significance of your service: As a healthcare professional, you must always remind yourself that regardless of the present challenges and obstacles, you are a part of a noble profession. And you are doing a great job by taking care of people during times of great uncertainty. You must take enough time to realize the sacrifices that are made by your entire fraternity.
Leadership is a quality that always strives to keep up with critical infrastructure and have each others’ support in place for all staff members during this critical time. You can stand together and protect each other to the greatest possible extent so that healthcare professionals are able to serve the patients at this hour of crisis.