Little did we know when the pandemic emerged in early 2020 that COVID-19 would continue to disrupt our lives over a year later. “COVID stress” was the inevitable result of the uncertainty we’ve experienced and our concern about what the future holds. For many of us, it has also had a significant impact on our sense of well-being.
While we’re currently seeing some hopeful signs that the worst of the pandemic may be behind us, we are, unfortunately, not immune to a variety of other sources of stress in our lives.
In the most current edition of Today’s Veterinary Business, co-author Trey Cutler and I outline the following four strategies for self-management during stressful events and times:
- Accept responsibility for how you are responding or reacting.
- Understand that we’re in this together, and seek help if you need it.
- Learn to reframe how you look at your circumstances and experiences.
- Practice mindfulness.
Regarding that last strategy… mindfulness involves the non-judgmental acceptance of “what is.” Mindfulness expert Chade-Meng Tan asserts that “The practice of mindfulness is a gateway into the experiences of interconnectedness and interdependence out of which stem emotionally intelligent actions, new ways of being and ultimately, greater happiness, clarity, wisdom and kindness.” Wow! Who wouldn’t want to sign up for that!
In our TVB article, Trey and I highlight five simple mindfulness practices – helpful antidotes when you’re feeling stressed – that you can try by yourself or with family, friends or colleagues.