Tips for working during a pandemic

Either working or staying at home, both are equally stressful, I know because I've been both employed and unemployed during the pandemic. This blog post is directed to those working outside their homes but I will try to include tips for working at home. From nurses to fast food workers here are things to do before, after and during work hours.

I work with one of the most vulnerable populations during the pandemic which is elderly adults. This requires me to constantly reassure them of their safety despite the craziness of the world. Providing care to others now requires me to better take care of myself in order to do that, and this is what I do.

Before work

  • Deep breaths from the moment I open my eyes to when I feel like I can stop. Especially if I have an early shift like a 7am to 3pm or a 9am to 2pm where meditating will only make me fall asleep, I like to just be aware of my breath

  • I still listen to rap music at 5am to wake myself up and get hyped about the day. I know that's something that gets me pumped so I do it to better radiate that energy.

  • Pack nutritious filling food and bring water as well as tea.

  • Make time to spend time with family before taking off for work (and take your dog out)

  • Do a grouping exercise, I like to walk barefoot on the grass and feel the sun on my skin before spending the rest of my day indoors.

  • Pick an intention of the day- An example is to be a light to everyone I see and of service to anyone in need. When things get hard think about these things.

At work

  • Have a small breakfast and lots of snacks. I carry MadeGood granola bars in my scrubs whenever I need them.

  • Do your job to the best of your abilities. Don't leave it for the next shift, don't project on customers, clients, patients, students or residents. You should never slack off but during these times you should aim to give others everything you got. It means a lot if you set the standard and ensure that nobody is constantly cleaning up someone else's mess.

  • Don't do everything- to follow my previous point, don't pick up shifts or tasks that you can't do. Let's be realistic, especially if it's not your responsibility don't agree to it because you will only feel drained over something that isn't yours to do. If you can, do it. If you can't, forget about it.

  • Tell your supervisors about your schedule and other responsibilities so they are aware. As well as things in the workplace that aren't working out. There are many new protocols coming along because of the pandemic let them know how these affect your job. For example, at my work we were required to wear goggles and we couldn't see anything after a couple hours and now we finally switched to safety glasses, which ensures the safety of myself, my coworkers as well as the residents.

After work

  • Tell stories about work. There is always something new or interesting or scary to share (in respect to everyone's privacy)

  • Shower away the day thus far.

  • Meditation- I like to sit down and visually disconnect myself from the day, my work and anything that happened. I let other people's opinion, projections and attitudes go back to them and I take my "true" self back to myself. Talking about it helps but doing a cord cutting meditation liberates me from ranting on about it.

  • Get good rest and sleep in the following day if you can. I walk a lot at work so the day after I naturally want to lay in bed for an extra hour, so do it.

It's important to find balance to work, to do school assignments as well as things you enjoy. This was just what I do in a day before an 8 hour shift providing care at a retirement home, the same goes with 12 hour shifts, working in a factory or a fast food place, take time to take care of yourself before you service other people. You will feel better for it

Good luck this week

and I hope you are a light and a necessary presence in your work space,