Tips for essential workers to help manage stress during the Coronavirus outbreak

Released: 04/17/20

Bridgette Hensley, Mayo Clinic Health System psychologist at Winneshiek Medical Center Decorah Clinic shares ways to help essential workers cope with their stress and anxiety during the Coronavirus (COVID – 19) outbreak. Dr. Hensley shares, “Responding to COVID-19 can take an emotional toll on you. There are things you can do to reduce secondary traumatic stress (STS) reactions.” STS is the stress or overwhelming emotional feelings that result when a person hears about a trauma experience of another individual. Dr. Hensley shares recommendations on how to avoid these emotions; consider the following:

  • Acknowledge that STS can impact anyone helping families after a traumatic event.
  • Learn the symptoms including physical (fatigue, illness) and mental (fear, withdrawal, guilt).
  • Allow time for you and your family to recover from responding to the pandemic.
  • Create a menu of personal self-care activities that you enjoy, such as spending time with friends and family, exercising, or reading a book.
  • Take a break from media coverage of COVID-19.
  • Ask for help if you feel overwhelmed or concerned that COVID-19 is affecting your ability to care for your family, patients, clients, customers, etc.

For more tips on taking care of yourself, please see:

For an excellent video, entitled, Caring for Yourself & Others During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Managing Healthcare Workers’ Stress, please see the link below.

This material is for your education and information only. This content does not replace medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. New medical research may change this information. If you have questions about a medical condition or if stress is affecting your daily life after several days, contact your health care provider.

Return to Press Room