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Wellness for Frontline Workers, Healthcare Workers, And Essential Workers


Here are some excellent tools to support healthcare professionals and other frontline workers who are courageously navigating stress, grief, burnout, and secondary traumatic stress during the pandemic and beyond. We hope these resources may offer some respite and hope for finding skillful ways to feel supported and to build more resilience both in the moment and in the longer-term. We appreciate all that you do!


(Most of these resources are free, and a few are fee-based.)

Resources For Right Now

Nursing License Map 2021 Mental Health Resource List: An excellent, comprehensive resource guide for anyone (in addition to nurses) looking to nurture and improve their mental health during the pandemic. Resources are included in the important areas of sleep, healthy eating, movement, counseling and support, mindfulness, positivity, and entertainment (finding light-hearted entertainment to help take a break from it all). 

Self-Compassion Resources for Healthcare Workers During COVID-19 Crisis:  ​From the Center for Mindful Self-Compassion, this is an excellent list of self-compassion-based online resources assembled specifically for healthcare workers and others on the front lines. It includes live and recorded meditations, group and individual coaching and therapy, inspirational videos and poetry, and instructional classes and courses. These resources are focused on strengthening your resiliency and keeping you healthy and inspired. 

Mindful Healthcare Collective: If you are a healthcare worker seeking a fellow mindfulness and wellness community, the Mindful Healthcare Collective was created in response to the pandemic by a group of women physicians who are experts in wellness for healthcare professionals. They offer free, evidence-based mindfulness Zoom teachings, classes, and events to reduce stress as well as an option to join a Facebook community. Their mission is to help heal the healers so we can continue to heal others.

Self-Care Advice for Health-Care Providers During COVID-19: Article from the American Psychological Association (APA) outlining concrete strategies for workers on the front lines to manage stress during the pandemic. 

Tools for right now

Simple Self-Compassion Meditation for Healthcare Workers: Designed for healthcare professionals during the pandemic from Pauli Gardner, Ph.D. (professor, health researcher, and mindfulness meditation teacher). You can do this right now or anytime to take a break, help calm your fight-flight system, recharge, and nourish yourself (10 minute audio). 

COVID-19 Self Care Resources for Healthcare Professionals: From the Health Psychology division of the American Psychological Association (APA), these are resources for individuals ands well as hospitals and clinics. Super quick ways to manage stress including tools to calm yourself, focus yourself, relax yourself, ground yourself, and celebrate yourself  (downloadable PDFs and short videos).

Three Daily Mindfulness Practices for Healthcare Workers with pediatrician, author, and mindfulness teacher Mark Bertin, M.D.

Three simple practices that healthcare providers can turn to when they’re caught up in stress, feeling overwhelmed, or simply facing the challenges of the day..."when in the middle of a chaotic time—or in the middle of serious challenges. These practices are not a Band-Aid or a fix for anything in particular. They’re an acknowledgment that when we’re knocked off balance and we’re caught up in stress, there’s some value to having tools at hand that we can use to settle ourselves in any given moment."

An expert in releasing stress and trauma from the body, Peter Levine speaks to the recent experiences of healthcare workers and other workers on the front line as he guides people throu. He offers a simple tool specific to healthcare workers and other frontline workers including a brief context for the use of this simple tool to help release and ease despair stemming from healthcare worker stress and secondary traumatic stress. 

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With great appreciation for all those working on the front lines of the pandemic, here are a series of short videos from Insight LA to help support you, help you take a break, ground yourself, and know that you are not alone.

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Vax’n 8, a group of seven doctors from Vacaville CA, performed a rendition of "My Shot" from Lin-Manuel Miranda’s "Hamilton" in footage posted to YouTube on March 10, with the aim of encouraging people to get the coronavirus vaccine.  Go to article and video here. 

Deeper Dive Frontline Workers
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From Health Journeys: "This research-proven collection of mind body exercises offers quick, effective relaxation techniques for stress in first responders, soldiers or anyone engaged in dangerous or traumatizing work. Repeated listening to these relaxation techniques for stress teaches self-regulation and self-calming skills to police, EMT’s, firefighters, soldiers, emergency room personnel and journalists, reminding them how to remain relaxed under pressure and deliver peak, focused performance during difficult and even chaotic situations. Also designed to stabilize the wide biochemical swings produced in the aftermath of acutely stressful events, these stress management relaxation techniques reduce the likelihood of posttraumatic stress developing, by helping mind and body return to healthy homeostasis. These natural, holistic mind body exercises can also reduce or eliminate the need for medication for managing insomnia, anxiety or depression."


From Health Journeys: "This guided meditation for caregiver stress is designed to offer relief, comfort and self care for caregivers who may be growing weary and disheartened from looking after a family member or friend in need of taxing levels of physical or emotional care. It is also useful for professional providers experiencing the occupational stress of caregiver burnout. Guided imagery is a mind-body technique that consists of healing words and hypnotic images, set to soothing music, to provide relief from caregiver stress syndrome. The audio includes reminders of the caregiver’s strength, resourcefulness and tenacity; a sense of being surrounded by protection, support and appreciation; an easing up of any resentment, isolation and anger that may have accrued; and an emphasis on the need for self-consideration and self care for caregivers. Affirmations are easier, faster and more convenient for some listeners, and can be played while doing other things, even driving."

Self-Compassion Training for Healthcare Communities (SCHC)

Utilizing strategies to avoid emotional exhaustion on the front line

A moment of self-compassion can change your entire day. A string of such moments can change the course of your life. 

-- Chris Germer, Ph.D.

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Sponsored by the Center for Mindful Self-Compassion, SCHC is an online 6-week program for healthcare professionals to address the unique stressors of working on the front lines. Research from this program shows increases in self-compassion, mindfulness, and compassion for others, and decreases in depression, stress, secondary traumatic stress and burnout for healthcare professionals. Not free, but an excellent program.

New 6-week online course starting April 13, 2021!

Mindfulness-Based Mind Fitness Training (MMFT) ​is a  trauma-sensitive online course to build resilience and thrive during high-stress work situations:

  • Build your resilience, by recovering from prior stress and healing from trauma

  • Improve your decision-making and ability to access choice during challenges

  • Create more effective relationships, especially during stress and conflict.​

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MMFT is an excellent course with pioneering researcher, author, and instructor Liz Stanley, Ph.D., for healthcare professionals, frontline workers, and anyone else wanting to enhance their performance and build resilience in high-stress contexts.

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Liz Stanley, Ph.D., offers a FREE one-hour webinar on the concepts of MMFT and the fundamentals of tools for resilience in high-stress work situations.

If you are interested in complimentary access to this course and you support or work within the healthcare, first responder, civil service, military, education, law enforcement, or public service organizations, please apply to the Sounds True Foundation on the MMFT course registration page. 

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