Sharing Our Feelings With Our Network

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

Robert Althoff, MD

Welcome to another, taking a moment of time to remind ourselves 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 how we share our feelings with our network, either our actual social network online or our social network in real life, and how we do that without scaring people or without violating HIPAA.

One of the things that we keep talking about is the power of human connection. But, what do you do when your human connections that you have outside of here are themselves taxed? You don't want to weigh more on them. They're already scared. They're scared for you, your loved ones and themselves.

And so when we go home and we want to spend time with our family and our colleagues, the first thing I'm going to ask you to do is to take their temperature. Not their real temperature, but the temperature of how they're doing. And I want you to classify it like salsa: hot, medium or mild.

When you get home, see what kind of salsa you are dealing with today. And if you've gotten medium salsa or hot salsa, and things are spilling out all over the place, or they're having a difficult time managing, that's not the time to dump it at home.

But when you come home and it feels like it's mild salsa, it's basically like most other days. That's the time when you can let your guard down just a little bit and you can spend some more time with them talking about the struggles that you have at work, but more importantly, the successes that you have at work.

Help to encourage them and encourage yourself by talking about all the things that you were able to do today, the people you were able to help, the ways that you were able to feel with people and help them process this with you.

But first, and this is the tip for the day, gauge the temperature of the folks at home. Make sure they're in a space to support you. Thanks very much for taking a 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.