Caring for ourselves in a time of COVID-19

Published on May 11, 2020

Team support for Mental Health Awareness Month and beyond

Monday marks two months since COVID-19 was declared a pandemic, and the world looks a lot different now for many of us. From cancelled events to health worries, social distancing, resource insecurity, and much more, there’s a lot that can affect our mental health and wellbeing. 

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, a reminder to us all that self-care is critically important to address the stresses and disappointments stemming from COVID-19.

Tips for wellbeing during COVID-19

Wellbeing strategies for veterinary professionals during COVID-19

During the pandemic, it’s not uncommon for people to have a heightened sense of anxiety. While we can't always eliminate the source of the anxiety, there are things we can do to combat and reduce stress. Here are some strategies to help deal with unexpected changes and events like COVID-19:

  • Separate what you can control from what's outside your control.
  • Talk with someone else about your feelings of disappointment.
  • Do what helps you feel safe.
  • Challenge yourself to stay in the present.
  • Get outside, and practice social distancing.
  • Stay connected virtually to friends and loved ones.

AVMA’s director of wellbeing, diversity and inclusion initiatives shared more wellbeing tips you can incorporate into daily routines during this time of uncertainty in a special episode of the AVMA’s My Veterinary Life podcast, “Wellbeing in a time of COVID.” 

Resources to help veterinary teams thrive

AVMA has many practical tools to support the personal wellbeing of all veterinary team members, both during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond, including these and more:

  • Meditation and relaxation exercises for the whole family – We’ve recorded exercises that can help both adults and children manage emotions and stress. Find them on the COVID-19 wellbeing page.
  • Help in dealing with loss and grief – There’s a lot to grieve with COVID-19. Learn ways to address your full range of emotions, tolerate distress, and find meaning and hope, in a free AVMA Axon webinar, Experiencing grief and finding hope.
  • Tips to identify and combat compassion fatigue – Know the symptoms of compassion fatigue, and learn what you can do to combat it. The AVMA's work and compassion fatigue page has important information for all veterinary team members.
  • Wellbeing assessment test - Gauge how you're being affected in three areas that are critical to mental wellbeing – compassion satisfaction, compassion stress, and compassion fatigue – with the Professional Quality of Life (ProQOL) assessment tool.

Your health matters

The wellbeing of veterinary professionals is one of the most important issues facing our profession, and AVMA is committed to supporting veterinary team members on both a personal and professional level. Find many more resources year-round on the wellbeing page of AVMA’s website.
 
Throughout Mental Health Month, we’re sharing additional wellbeing tools and resources – including short, practical video tips – on our social media pages. Here's a preview of what you can expect to see in the weeks ahead:
 

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