Vicarious Trauma, PTSD, Burnout
Some of the important outcomes of dealing with COVID-19 for healthcare professionals have been vicarious trauma, burnout and PTSD. There are plenty of effective strategies to cope with the stress and stay resilient if you are a healthcare professional. On the Anxiety Canada Website, you can find tools for dealing with burnout as well as understand different perspectives about PTSD.
Strategies To Combat Vicarious Trauma and Burnout
Some strategies that help reduce vicarious trauma are:
- Good Sleep hygiene
- Regular exercise
- Maintaining social contacts via zoom or telephone if not in person.
- Good Diet ( Three meals) Reducing sugar intake.
- Schedule small breaks within your workday. ( watching a youtube video of the ocean for 3 minutes).
- Getting good peer supervision, if not within your team, then paying a supervisor.
- Seeing a counsellor who understands PTSD and Vicarious Trauma.
- Spending time with your kids or pets
- Continuing meaningful hobbies
- Focus on what you can control in your work environment as a way to offset what you cannot control.
EMDR is a first-line treatment for PTSD. This therapy known as Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing is also used to prevent PTSD and Vicarious Trauma. EMDRIA is a great resource to learn more about EMDR. If you are a healthcare professional that is experiencing intrusive thoughts, flashbacks or anticipatory anxiety EMDR can provide relief.