Building Resiliency and Marking Two Years of Living with COVID
Tips on moving forward after two difficult years
Needham, Mass. – It was two years ago this week, on March 10, 2020, that Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker declared a State of Emergency in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. That day, fewer than 10 people per day were testing positive for the virus in the Commonwealth. One month later, more than 2,000 people would test positive each day. Since then, more than 1.6 million Massachusetts residents have contracted COVID-19, and nearly 24,000 have died.
Laura Garelick, MD, chief of Family Practice at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital–Needham (BID Needham), directs the medical staff peer support program at the hospital. She says self-compassion is important right now. One such practice she recommends, based on the work of Kristen Neff, is taking a few minutes to reflect, alone or in a group, on three questions that can be remembered by HUG. “H is for hope—what is a kind wish you have for yourself or others? U is for Unity in that we have all experienced challenges—what is one change or loss that you wish to honor at this time? G is for gratitude, think of someone or something you are grateful for in this moment.” She also says make sure you pace yourself and take breaks from intense work, even if you only have a moment, to recharge. “The break is as important as the work.”
To mark the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on Massachusetts, Jennifer Pinto, LMHC, Trotman Director of Behavioral Health at BID Needham, shares these additional tips to attend to your mental hygiene as a way to shore up one’s mental resources, heal from what we’ve been through and to prepare for whatever may be ahead:
- Conduct a personal inventory. Fully assess your overall mental, emotional and physical health.
- Reflect on what matters most. Identify where you find gratitude and meaning.
- Learn about the benefits of self-compassion. You can’t fill someone else’s cup if yours is empty.
- Identify areas that motivate, engage, and provide a sense of mastery. This is necessary to feel successful and in control.
- Develop two personal strategies that shift your focus to what is in front of you. Let go of what you cannot control and embrace hope.
Garelick says it’s important to recognize the last two years have been difficult. “It’s been super hard. It’s understandable if you’ve been struggling.”
About Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital–Needham
Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital–Needham (BID Needham) is a licensed 58-bed acute care community hospital. BID Needham has served residents in Needham and surrounding communities for more than 100 years. The hospital has been recognized by several organizations for quality and safety, including five-out-of-five stars from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), an “A” grade from the Leapfrog Group, the Gold Seal of Approval from The Joint Commission and the 2019 American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Gold Quality Achievement Award.
BID Needham is a part of Beth Israel Lahey Health, a health care system that brings together academic medical centers and teaching hospitals, community and specialty hospitals, more than 4,800 physicians and 36,000 employees in a shared mission to expand access to great care and advance the science and practice of medicine through groundbreaking research and education.