Coping with the Stress of COVID-19

The coronavirus pandemic has unfortunately given us a new source of stress that we would be happy to go without. Yes, modern life already gives us events, situations or even people that stress us out. But the COVID-19 pandemic is a different story. It’s all stressful, all the time – especially for health care workers and other caregivers, who are doing so much at this time for the residents who need them so much.

In a recent CNN article about the pandemic, stress management expert Dr. Cynthia Ackrill said, “We’re living in a sea of stress hormones every day. We’re not designed for a constant application of these chemicals.” Caregivers and health care workers may be experiencing more than their fair share of the most common symptoms of stress:

  • Feeling irritation, anger, or denial
  • Feeling uncertain, nervous, or anxious
  • Feeling helpless or powerless
  • Lacking motivation
  • Feeling tired, overwhelmed, or burned out
  • Feeling sad or depressed
  • Having trouble sleeping
  • Having trouble concentrating

Another challenge for caregivers is that it’s their job to focus on the well-being of other people. According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, “Self-care for health care workers can be complex and challenging, given that people in these roles may prioritize the needs of others over their own needs.”

If you’re feeling any of the symptoms above, remember that it is very important to take care of yourself. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers caregivers and health care workers these tips to cope and enhance your resilience:

  • Communicate with your coworkers, supervisors and employees about job stress.
    • Identify factors that cause stress and work together to identify solutions.
    • Ask about how to access mental health resources in your workplace.
  • Identify and accept those things which you do not have control over.
  • Increase your sense of control by keeping a consistent daily routine when possible.
    • Try to get adequate sleep.
    • Make time to eat healthy meals.
    • Take breaks during your shift to rest, stretch, or check in with supportive colleagues, coworkers, friends and family.
  • When away from work, get exercise when you can. Spend time outdoors either being physically activity or relaxing. Do things you enjoy during non-work hours.

Resources for Kline Galland employees

Kline Galland offers an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) with numerous resources for dealing with stress during these challenging times. There is an entire section dedicated to the coronavirus with important and helpful suggestions and information. There are also licensed counselors ready to speak with you. Our EAP allows for up to three free sessions with a licensed counselor in addition to the webinars and materials they have on their website.

To access Kline Galland’s EAP please go to visit or call them at 1-800-854-1446 (multilingual). The information to access our EAP is also on Kline Galland’s website (Team Kline/Team Summit > Staff Portal). If you don’t have the password, please ask your manager or HR.

Please take advantage of these helpful resources. As a caregiver, the number one person you need to take care of first is YOU!