COVID-19 has presented exceptional challenges to all of us, but the people dealing with it on the front lines are our healthcare workers. Working long shifts in dangerous conditions, their already stressful jobs have become even more difficult. For many, this results in increased susceptibility to burnout, addiction, and negative coping mechanisms. Today, we’ve put together a few ideas for how to support healthcare workers during COVID-19.
Caring for Our Caregivers
Some of us may have nurses and doctors within the home. In this stressful time, it’s important that we support them every step of the way, while also helping them to avoid negative coping mechanisms. COVID-19 has increased the rates of drinking nationwide, and healthcare workers are at particularly high risk of addiction.
To help your loved one de-stress in a healthy way, avoid keeping alcohol and other substances in the home. If either of you are in recovery, this should already be the case. Next, try to remove stressors by being proactive around the house. If you’re stuck at home all day, do some cleaning or finish a longstanding household project. Take care of dinner or surprise them with a relaxing bubble bath, movie marathon, or other favorite activity. The options are endless; the objective is to help healthcare workers to unwind, recover from the day, and feel ready for their next shift.
Groceries and Supplies
There’s one simple way that you can help out the healthcare workers in your area: go to the grocery store for them. While this is an easy activity for most of us (and, indeed, it may be one of the rare times we leave the house), it’s not so simple for frontline workers. Nurses, doctors, and other healthcare staff work long shifts, often lasting up to 12 hours. Finding time to run to the store can be challenging for them. To help out, offer to do the shopping for a healthcare worker in your neighborhood!
First, ask them to send you an email or text with their grocery list, then grab those items when you’re doing your own shopping. As always, follow best practices when going to the store; try to go at an off time, sanitize your shopping cart, and wear a mask to protect yourself and others. Finally, just drop off their groceries on the front porch or in the garage. If you’re not able to go to the store, you can always order them some food online.
Help Healthcare Workers
Support the frontline workers in your life! It may seem like a small token, but shouting out your friends who are nurses, doctors, or hospital workers on social media can give them a much-needed boost during these chaotic times. Additionally, try to anticipate some of their needs so that you can step in and lend a hand. Do they usually power wash their driveway, but lack the time? Have they expressed that their yard needs to be cut? Take care of those chores on their behalf (with permission, of course). These little efforts can add up to big results.
Many people stocked up on medical grade masks at the beginning of this pandemic. However, this is of serious detriment to the supply of personal protective equipment – PPE – to doctors, nurses, and hospital staff. This equipment is in great demand for healthcare professionals. If you have a great excess of PPE around the house, like gloves, hand sanitizer, or N-95 masks, consider donating it to a local hospital or clinic in your area. Just give them a call before deciding to bring it over.
We Support Healthcare Workers
At Lakeside-Milam, we understand the immense stress that American healthcare workers are under today. When a doctor or nurse requires our services, our comprehensive addiction treatment approach is tailored to the unique needs of professionals who work in the medical field. We stand with the frontline workers who do so much to protect our nation’s citizens. If you or someone you love requires addiction treatment or mental health services, please contact Lakeside-Milam today.