Back to Top Skip to main content

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...

DOD surpasses 2 million COVID-19 vaccines worldwide

Article
4/9/2021
Military health personnel wearing a face mask and a face shield giving the COVID-19 vaccine

The DOD hit the 2 million mark for vaccinations worldwide just a month after the 1 million milestone.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Toolkit | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit

Public health remains an integral part in the fight against COVID

Article
4/9/2021
Infographic featuring health personnel wearing face shields and mask with "National Public Health Week" across the top of the picture

The pandemic has highlighted a need to provide more advanced training on infection prevention and control.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Toolkit | April Toolkit | Public Health | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit

Children’s well-being contributes immeasurably to force readiness

Article
4/6/2021
Military personnel wearing face mask in the back of a truck

The Defense Health Agency joins in celebrating military children during Month of the Military Child, observed in April, and always.

Recommended Content:

Children's Health | April Toolkit | Month of the Military Child – Celebrating the Mighty | Coronavirus | Month of the Military Child | Month of the Military Child Image Library

Telemedicine advances put to the test during pandemic

Article
4/1/2021
Uniformed service member stands behind wall of computer screens

COVID-19 has led to the need for physical distancing and has overwhelmed the capacities of health systems, compelling many to adopt telehealth solutions.

Recommended Content:

Technology | Research and Innovation | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit

DOD healthcare leaders give COVID-19 update, praise DHA personnel

Article
3/30/2021
Picture of Director Army Lt. Gen. (Dr. Ronald Place providing a COVID-19 update at  the Pentagon

Dr. Terry Adirim and Army Lt. Gen. (Dr.) Ronald Place provide update on COVID-19 vaccination progress and offer thanks to MHS workers for their contributions.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Toolkit | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit

Lovell FHCC staff steps up to create formidable COVID-19 team

Article
3/30/2021
Military health personnel preparing to administer the COVID-19 vaccine

The COVID-19 vaccination effort at the Capt. James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center in North Chicago, Illinois, has brought out the best in staff.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Toolkit | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit

Dover Air Force Base features ‘Park ‘N Pickup’ pharmacy

Article
3/26/2021
Picture of prescription sitting on a counter

Due to the increased need for patient safety, the 436th Medical Group pharmacy at Dover Air Force Base has implemented a Park ‘N Pickup process.

Recommended Content:

Patient Safety Awareness Week | COVID-19 Toolkit | Coronavirus | Patient Safety

DHA Form 207: COVID-19 Vaccine Screening and Immunization Document

Form/Template
3/25/2021

The purpose of this form is to determine if the COVID-19 vaccine can be administered to the patient.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Toolkit | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

TAB A MEO COVID19 Medical Coding Policy

Policy

Memorandum for DHA Staff - Military Medical Treatment Facilities to Implement Updated DHA COVID-19 Medical Coding Policy

  • Identification #: N/A
  • Date: 3/25/2021
  • Type: Memorandums
  • Topics: Coronavirus

DHA COVID19 Medical Coding PolicyV5 1v

Policy

Establishes the DHA procedures to standardize the coding for Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) within military medical treatment facilities (MTFs). This memorandum replaces DHA-Policy Memorandum 20-003 of July 1, 2020. Attachment 1 was updated to include the 2021 procedure and diagnosis codes for COVID-19, including the new vaccination and treatment codes.

  • Identification #: 20-003
  • Date: 3/25/2021
  • Type: Memorandums
  • Topics: Coronavirus

Eight nations participate in West African virtual pandemic exercise

Article
3/24/2021
Picture of military personnel wearing a face mask looking at a laptop computer

Medical experts from six African nations, the United Kingdom and the United States, participated in a Virtual Pandemic Preparation and Response Engagement exercise.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Toolkit | Coronavirus | Global Health Engagement | Partners

Army dietitian uses nutritional care to fight COVID-19

Article
3/23/2021
Military personnel wearing a face mask standing in front of a Nutrition Clinic

Army dietician plays a critical role in COVID-19 patient recovery.

Recommended Content:

Nutritional Fitness | Total Force Fitness | Coronavirus

The COVID-19 pandemic, one year later in the DOD

Article
3/22/2021
A photo of a hospital ship

Timeline of events as the COVID-19 pandemic took over 2020.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Toolkit | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit

Army Wounded Warrior perseveres despite COVID-19

Article
3/19/2021
Picture of military personnel wearing a face mask and shooting a bow and arrow

Army Wounded Warrior preserves through COVID-19 pandemic through continued physical activities.

Recommended Content:

Warrior Care | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Toolkit | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit

Got Your 6: Step Up

Video
3/18/2021
Got Your 6: Step Up

“Got Your 6” is TRICARE’s COVID-19 vaccine video series that delivers important information and updates, three times a month. It includes the latest information about DoD vaccine distribution, the TRICARE health benefit, and vaccine availability for a DoD-affiliated, and TRICARE beneficiary audience.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Toolkit | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 28

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.