Handling Sticky Situations

Taking a Moment: Mindful ways to cope during the COVID-19 pandemic

Robert Althoff, MD

Today I want to talk to you about a sticky situation we often find ourselves in, or at least I find myself in. One of the challenges that we have being in healthcare is that we hear all of the different ways that this crisis affects society, and we know all the different ways that society can do something about it.

We know that physical distancing is necessary. We know and we believe the science with regard to this. Well, we're not epidemiologists. We kind of get it, right? We understand that people out there should be staying away from each other.

And, it makes it really hard when you're out in the community and you see people not doing it. You sit there and you get upset, or at least I do. I feel like when I know so many people who are doing all this sacrificing either at their home or they're doing sacrificing at work, why can't people just get this?

The thing is, though, we don't know what other people are going through. We don't know why they're out. Maybe it's really important that they get to the Chick-fil-A. We don't know the answer to that. All we really know is our own response to things.

We can't change what other people do. We can change how we respond to these things. And the thing is, as we work harder and as we get more fatigued, it becomes harder and harder to deal with this sort of stuff around us, especially when we see people making poor decisions.

We need to recognize what we can change. We can change our fatigue, we can change our attitude, we can change how we deal with things, but we really can't change other people. We have to accept that.

Thank you for everything that you do. Thank you for accepting what you can change and thank you for taking this moment with me. Stay strong.

Robert Althoff, MD and Aron Steward , PhD from CVPH Psychiatry offer tips and information about coping during this time of crisis.