When the nation shut down, millions of Americans suddenly found themselves in the wellness spotlight. Individuals working in healthcare, transportation, shipping, janitorial, and even retail industries were categorized as essential workers. The country needed these professionals to survive.
Without any training, experience, and few resources, they were asked to step in and support their communities.
However heroic their efforts are, the lives of essential workers have not been easy. The pandemic has taken a significant toll on them physically and emotionally. They endure so much, from working long hours and being away from their families to contracting COVID-19 and watching others lose their lives. Although no one can predict or control the world’s current state, essential workers can do things to safeguard their health, wellness, and safety.
Though the distribution of coronavirus vaccines is a step in the right direction, there’s still a long way to go. The COVID-19 rates are alarmingly high, and new, more invasive strands continue to spread. Essential workers are encouraged to continue protecting themselves and others against the virus. You should wear face masks, wash your hands frequently, and sanitize your workspace to reduce your risks.
Talk About It
Mental health experts are concerned about the emotional impact the pandemic has had on essential workers. They see and encounter so much that many experience symptoms of chronic stress, anxiety, and depression. One of the simplest ways to reduce overwhelming emotions is to talk about what you’re going through. Whether you speak to your significant other, a relative, friend, coworker, or therapist, getting out negative emotions keeps them from building up and causing mental health problems.
Be Good To Your Body
Essential workers are often asked to work longer hours to help fill employment gaps. Although a financial advantage, the long workweeks are taxing on the body. Many people have experienced things like body aches and pains to increased illnesses. Unfortunately, some essential workers contracted the virus.
A good rule of thumb to reduce your risk of injury or illness is to be good to your body. Don’t work more than you can handle and take frequent breaks. When you’re off shift, go home and relax, put your feet up, or use natural tinctures for pain to help with body aches. Lastly, ensure that you’re eating a well-balanced diet, exercising regularly, and getting at least 7-9 hours of sleep.
Ask For Help
Lots of essential workers suffer from chronic stress. Their lives have been turned upside down, and the relief is far and few in between. They’re trying to raise children, maintain households, perform well at work, and cope with their emotions. It’s a lot to deal with, and it shouldn’t be done alone. There’s nothing wrong with reaching out for assistance. Whether you apply for financial relief, ask relatives to help with your kids, or speak with a therapist about your mental health, there is no shame. Getting help from others can help reduce your stress and enable you to keep up during uncertain times.
While this last bit of advice may seem impossible, essential workers are encouraged to have fun as often as they can. Though things are still chaotic, all work and no play have grave consequences. Find time to do something that makes you happy. Spend time with loved ones (safely), read a book, get outdoors, take a day trip, or indulge in a hobby. Anything that can help take your mind off of current times is beneficial to your overall health and wellness.
Essential workers were deemed overnight heroes when the pandemic swept the nation. While their efforts are admirable, helping their communities came with significant consequences. They experienced physical and emotional problems that have impacted their quality of life. As the pandemic continues, essential workers are encouraged to use the health, wellness, and safety tips above to protect themselves as they fight for better days.
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