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Practicing resiliency and self-care during challenging times

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to make an impact across the country, The US Oncology Network is committed to ensuring that community oncology practices have the resources and tools necessary to navigate these stressful times. Even those who are typically strong and resilient in crisis situations can experience intense fear and anxiety about the unknown.

To support physicians and practice staff holistically during these unprecedented times, The Network offers helpful tools and information on Self-Care and Resiliency to assist with easing day-to-day stress and maintaining the well-being of physicians, practice staff and their families. Resources include podcasts, apps, websites and videos with topics ranging from practical ways to incorporate self-care to adapting to situations to balancing new routines are available.

Tips for self-care

To stay mentally strong during stressful times and times of uncertainty, consider incorporating the following tactics into your daily life:

  • Self-Care Activities – Discover practical ways to demonstrate self-compassion and mitigate compassion fatigue by taking time for yourself. Take time to listen to music, read a book, exercise or go for a walk.
  • Practicing meditation, mindfulness and yoga – Calming the mind by redirecting focus and physical movement are powerful methods to reduce stress. Use apps and virtual tools designed to ease tension and promote relaxation.
  • Listening to podcasts – Get relevant information and feel connected, whether you’re on the go driving or sitting in your office. Listen to audio programs that share expert insights and relatable coping strategies.
  • Engage in family activities – Times of uncertainty prompted during a health crisis can impact the entire family. Implement new strategies for parents and caregivers to address the sensitive needs of children and incite engaging activities.
  • Find balance while working from home – Working remotely can be a challenging and uncomfortable lifestyle change for some. Use resources that provide ways to stay productive while still caring for your mental well-being and finding balance.
  • Explore financial and debt relief assistance – The economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has taken a financial toll on many families. Learn about programs offered through the government and other financial institutions that may provide some relief during these challenging times.

While balancing increased job demands, caring for patients and families during these unprecedented times, it is important for physicians and practice staff to manage their own mental health and well-being. Everyone must remember to take care of themselves in order to take care of others.

About the Author
Lydia Mills, MSW, LCSW, LICSW is the Senior Manager, Palliative Care and Social Work for The US Oncology Network. In this role she supports Network practices in their palliative care, advance care planning, and end-of-life initiatives, as well as working with and supporting the social workers across The Network.  Given her clinical social work background, she also has a passion for encouraging and promoting self-care.