Coping with COVID- Two Years Later

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By Ariel and Oscar - That Travel Nurse Couple

May 2, 2022

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Coping with COVID- Two Years Later

A little over two years ago, the pandemic began, and in some way, our lives were all changed forever. It’s been an incredibly hard road for so many of us these last two years, and some may still be trying to cope with the damage that this pandemic has caused; mentally, emotionally, financially, physically, etc. Believe me, when I say wholeheartedly, you are not alone.

Coping with COVID

All in this fight together

We have all been in this fight together, especially as healthcare professionals. I have had many moments over the last 24 months in which I have felt hopeless, helpless, anxious, sad…I could go on, but I will spare you. Luckily, but not always easily, I have been able to pull myself through these dark times, sometimes slower than others, but I have made it through nonetheless. There’s no one size fits all answer to how you’re supposed to cope with the things we have been through not only as frontline workers but as human beings. However, if there’s one thing that I always aim to do in life, it’s to try my hardest to look at all the positives but also remembering to accept the negatives for what they are.

Reflect

I encourage everyone to take a moment and reflect. Reflect on the negatives that you have experienced since 2020. Reflect on what these two years have taught you. Reflect on how you have changed and grown to get through. We have been through a lifetime of challenges and hardship while dealing with being strong for our loved ones and our patients. It has been truly exhausting, wouldn’t you agree? Accept the negatives as lessons, as emotional and mental weights that helped you gain some positives — perspective, hindsight, and even empathy, to name a few out of dozens more. I also challenge you to look at these last two years and ask yourself where you would be if these two years didn’t happen. For myself and my fiancé, we were finally brave enough to dive into the world of travel nursing because we were reminded daily, oftentimes even hourly, that tomorrow is not guaranteed. This has just been my way of turning a negative into a positive, and I invite you all to do the same during your reflection.

Put yourself first

Healthcare workers are notorious for forgetting to put themselves first. Ask any nurse at the end of their 12-hour shift how many times they’ve taken a sip out of their water bottle or gone to the bathroom – I can guarantee that you can count both on the one hand. It’s not hard to assume that we all carry this mentality into our everyday life as well. So many of us are fixers but forget that sometimes we need to fix ourselves, too. In addition to reflection, we have to remember to take some time for ourselves. Get outdoors, disconnect from social media and the news, volunteer at a place you love. There are endless options, but do something FOR YOU that brings you happiness and joy. Remember, you deserve that.

In closing, I have to say as a nurse; I am so proud of all my fellow healthcare workers. We have been put through the wringer and tested beyond comprehension, but if you are reading this…You. Made. It. It’s safe to say that we are all a little bruised and broken in one way or another, but we are here. We did it. I know the pandemic is far from over, and right now, historical events around the world make it so difficult to be positive. Please remember your strength in these moments. Take a deep breath and remember to pat yourselves on the backs. Be proud of where you are now, especially after going through so many things that were meant to break you.

Speak up

Lastly, please do not be afraid to speak up. As healthcare professionals, we are trained to bottle up our emotions and get the job done. But what I have learned over the last few years as an ER nurse is emotions, much like energy, are not destroyed; they do not go away simply because we refuse to process them. Bottling up emotions is a temporary fix, but the effects of doing so can be lifelong. Remember, there are a multitude of resources available to you if you are ever feeling anxious, sad, or just overwhelmed.

Wishing you all happy reflections,

Ariel

thattravelnursecouple

We hope you found this article on coping with COVID helpful and encouraging. Do you have any advice for fellow travel nurses on coping with COVID? Comment any tips for coping with COVID below.

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