From the Osher Clinic at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital
If the coronavirus doesn’t get you the stress will. With months yet to go in this pandemic we all need tools and resources for coping with COVID-19. Although disappointed we could not attend in person this year, Jacqui and I did get to present our research at Harvard Medical School’s Osher Center for Integrative Medicine. Our study on the Community Med School: A Study in Integrative Medicine and Lifelong Learning was well-received for this first round of the study. Our findings for this first phase of the study held up well with the overall theme of the conference which was the role of integrative medicine in keeping our healthcare workers from burning out in the face of the stress of COVID-19 and racial strife in America.
Our findings seem to agree with the findings of other researchers. Our data suggest that pursuing healthy lifestyles, exercise, meditation, tai chi and a host of other mind/body forms of self-cultivation improve resilience in the face of enormous stresses. Our focus is upon the application of these therapies in real-world community-level programs, the Osher Integrative Medicine Network Forum was focused upon the value of these techniques in caring for healthcare workers themselves.
With healthcare workers burning out in record numbers after 9 months of treating COVID patients amidst racial and political strife, we need to care for the caretakers or we will lose a lot of these courageous front-line troops. Physician burnout was already a problem, and the pandemic has only made it worse, according to a survey by Medscape(www.medscape.com). The survey queried more than 7,500 doctors from around the world, but the bulk of them — almost 5,000 — practice in the U.S. Almost two-thirds (64%) of the U.S. physicians surveyed said the pandemic had intensified their sense of burnout. (see https://www.aafp.org/journals/fpm/blogs/inpractice/entry/covid_burnout_survey.html).
We will share more information from the conference in the weeks to come but here is a list of resources to help both you and healthcare workers deal with the stress in the months to come.
For a fantastic list of great resources read more
Resources list for coping with COVID
- Eat Well at Home: Immune Health– Lindsay Keach Bronstein, MS, RD, LDN, HC
- FAQ on COVID-19 for Older Patients– Julia Lowenthal, MD and the Division of Aging, Brigham and Women’s Hospital
- Fresh vs. Frozen Produce: Which is healthier?– Lindsay Keach Bronstein, MS, RD, LDN, HC
- Mindful Stress Management Strategies for Coping with COVID Stress – Christina Luberto, PhD
- Reduce Remote Work Stress by Improving Your Posture- Matthew H Kowlaski, DC
- Self-help for Medical Professionals: Movement for relieving tension– Tom Jacobson, LMT
- The Daily Grind: Self-care for craniofacial pain- Matthew H Kowlaski, DC
- A message to our patients – Meredith Beaton Starr, MS, OTR/L
More from the Massachusetts Medical Society:
Mindfulness and Compassion in the time of COVID-19: Tools to stay steady and calm.
These meditations and short talks provide information about mindfulness and practices to reduce stress during COVID.
CME credits are available.
From the Integrative Medicine Consortium:
Meditation and Mindfulness
- University of Cincinnati – UC provides a variety of MP3 meditations by Dr. Sian Cotton.
- University Hospital Guided Meditations – UH provides a series of guided meditations
- University of Minnesota –
- Headspace – Clinical healthcare professionals are currently receiving complimentary premium memberships.
- Meditation Oasis – The Meditation Oasis® Podcast features guided meditations, instructions for meditation, and music for meditation. You can listen to it at iTunes or Google Play or by clicking on the play buttons below. Episodes are listed from the oldest to the most recent. Tap on the green button to view recent podcasts.
- Mindfulness Coach – This app leads the user through steps to learn how to practice mindfulness. Mindfulness means grounding yourself in the present moment. It has been shown to be helpful for reducing stress and helping people cope with unpleasant thoughts and emotions.
- Eight Active Ingredients of Tai Chi: Tai Chi Calisthenics
- Eight Active Ingredients of Tai Chi: Tai Chi Core Movements
- Mindful Yoga Therapy– Yoga Nidra Resource. Free download includes a series of short breathing practices that are part of the Mindful Yoga Therapy Program and a Deep Relaxation.
- Warriors at Ease– Explore meditation, breathing techniques, iRest Yoga Nidra and more yoga. This resource offers a guided iRest Yoga Nidra session, experiential breathing techniques, and yoga demonstrations.
Articles and Educational Tools:
Mindfulness for Clinicians Dr. John Kabat-Zinn presenting at UCSF
Repository of Well-Being Resources for Health Professionals, Students, and the Community. University of Minnesota
Sustaining the Well-Being of Healthcare Personnel During Coronavirus and Other Infectious Disease Outbreaks Uniformed Services University – Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress
Mindfulness Resources Maryanna Klatt, The Ohio State University College of Medicine
COVID-19: Resources for Managing Stress VA National Center for PTSD
Beyond Burnout: A Physician Wellness Hierarchy Designed to Prioritize Interventions at the Systems Level The American Journal of Medicine