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Taking Breaks and Leave

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


Welcome to another Taking a Moment, a time to remind us that we're all in this together and we need to take care of ourselves and each other. Today, I want to talk to you about why it's important to take breaks and to take a leave if necessary.

Look, no matter how many tips we provide and how many skills you can put to use, there are times when it can just be too much and your system will go into overload and you just need to step away. You need to rest and you need to rejuvenate and that's really okay.

We all need time to recover. None of us go out and run marathon after marathon after marathon without taking a break in between. Your body and your brain are just like the rest. You need to take breaks. You need to calm down and you need to let your body recuperate before it can return back to work.

It's really no different than a long workout. It's a physiologic necessity. And in fact, if we wear our brains down too much and we wear our bodies down too much, it becomes harder for them to stave off infection.

If you don't take the break, your body's going to make sure you take the break because that's what it does. It knows that it needs that time to recuperate.

So take some breaks. Take a walk midday, socially distanced, of course. Get some fresh air. It's important for your wellbeing. It's important to the function of your team. It's important for us to be able to counter what we have to deal with right now.

Give yourself that time to recover and to process when necessary. Let's promise one another that we'll encourage the other folks to take the breaks that they need. Thanks 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.