Submitted by the Big Bend Hospice Bereavement Department
Our hospice families are being impacted in ways we never imagined. Grief has been described as a “crisis wrapped inside the Coronavirus crisis.” Some hospice families have shared that their loss has been overshadowed by the pandemic. Our families are experiencing other life stressors like losing income and the inability to go to school.
There are some real struggles out there.
Self-care is essential now. Burnout is the cumulative effect of stress. Here are a few tips that may be helpful to prevent burnout. These tips are good to share with families and for ourselves, especially those on the front lines. Look for signs of burnout: irritability, boredom, depression, high anxiety, sleep disturbances, GI problems, increased alcohol use.
What we can do:
- Don’t overwhelm yourself with information. Limit the time that you watch the news.
- Eat a well-balanced diet. It is easy to go to that bag of chips and sweets. Eating well will improve your immune system.
- Sleep well. Turn off all social media at least an hour before bedtime.
- Exercise. I know, that’s not a favorite for some of us. However, a 20 minute walk each day will do wonders.
- Be careful about spreading yourself too thin. Even getting groceries is stressful these days. Using pickup and delivery services can be helpful.
- It is easy to get busy on work at home and keep on working at extended hours. Set limits on yourself.
- Learn time management techniques. It can be difficult to establish a routine and not get distracted. Everyone’s situation is different. Do what is best for you.
- Utilize your support network. Call, text, Zoom, Google Hangout. Schedule a drive by. Tell your friend that you are driving by their home and want to see them in their yard and wave to them.
We hope these suggestions help. Remember to focus on what you can do. Staying positive may be a challenge, but is so important. Over the next few months, we will be featuring “Self-Care Saturday” social media posts to provide additional helpful suggestions.