Healthcare professionals record a significant increase in stress resulting from the pandemic’s impacts. Mindful meditation is an effective stress-reduction strategy as established by Callus et al. (2020). Mindful meditation allows healthcare providers to pay non-judgmental devotion to their cognitive, physical, and emotional experiences while at the same time re-aligning their concentration. Azam et al. (2019) also noted that mindfulness promotes cognitive and emotional regulation, which progressively leads to relaxation, thus easing stress.
Other potential strategies that can be implemented to ease stress are enhancing the management of workflows, ensuring that services are organized, improving interoperability, enhancing communication skills, organizing workshops and seminars on coping with occupational stress, and providing enough rest and exercise (Sultana et al., 2020). It is also essential for organizational support to guarantee healthcare providers who fall ill and financial support for their families. Integrating micro breakrooms/spaces in unused spaces within the healthcare facility also effectively stress management and enhances wellness. The spaces should be designed to prioritize comfort, for example, by including chairs with soft cushions or seating booths for solo rest or a quiet place to call family.
Healthcare providers can also receive mental health services to prevent and manage stress. Mental health services can be provided by psychological counselors or through peer group support sessions that allow in-depth discussions (Sultana et al., 2020). Support from peer groups has also been recommended as an effective strategy among healthcare professionals. Maben and Bridges (2020) noted that peer groups enable healthcare providers to feel appreciated for their efforts. Another essential stress management step among healthcare providers is acknowledging what they can and cannot control. For instance, although nurses may not control the long working hours, they can take mental health breaks, especially after long shifts. Also, while healthcare providers can’t select their coworkers, they can communicate effectively with those on their team.
Azam, M. A., Latman, V. V., & Katz, J. (2019). Effects of a 12-minute smartphone-based mindful breathing task on heart rate variability for students with clinically relevant chronic pain, depression, and anxiety: protocol for a randomized controlled trial. JMIR Research Protocols, 8(12), 1-7. https://doi.org/10.2196/14119
Callus, E., Bassola, B., Fiolo, V., Bertoldo, E. G., Pagliuca, S., & Lusignani, M. (2020). Stress reduction techniques for health care providers dealing with severe coronavirus infections (SARS, MERS, and COVID-19): A Rapid Review. Frontiers in Psychology, 11, 1-11. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.589698
Maben J., Bridges J. (2020). Covid-19: supporting nurses’ psychological and mental health. J. Clin. Nurs. 29 2742–2750. https://doi.org/10.1111/jocn.1530
Sultana, A., Sharma, R., Hossain, M. M., Bhattacharya, S., & Purohit, N. (2020). Burnout among healthcare providers during COVID-19: Challenges and evidence-based interventions. Indian J Med Ethics, 5(4), 308-11. https://doi.org/10.31235/osf.io/4hxga