Working in the Public Health Trenches: Eight Important Self-Care Strategies

By Tammy McCoy-Arballo, Psy.D. on Feb 21, 2021 7:30:00 PM

First, let me start by saying thank you. Public Health officials and employees have never worked harder and under more trying circumstances. I know - because I have a front-row seat to some of the challenges you have faced. I have watched my husband, a public health official in Southern California, and his team respond to the COVID-19 global pandemic since January 2020.

More than once, he was awoken by scared and angry voices lashing out at 2 a.m. on a Sunday, and other times he has faced protesters gathered outside his offices, making allegations of corruption or worse. All this while he and his team worked seven days a week for months on end, missing out on family functions and losing sleep.

This has been a challenge like no other for leaders in the public health field – and as such, please know it is completely normal for you and your staff to feel betrayed, baffled, frustrated, angry, hopeless, helpless, and simply sick and tired of all this. While it might be tempting to do so, try not to question what these emotional reactions say about your character or your commitment to your career. These reactions are entirely appropriate and to be expected given what is happening and given what is demanded of each one of you, and your employees, every single day.

Continue Reading

Normal Reactions to an Abnormal Situation: Managing Life at Home and Work During Covid-19

By Suzanne Hoffman, Ph.D. on Dec 11, 2020 11:56:32 AM

After months of working from home during the Coronavirus pandemic, it might be a good time to pause and assess -- where are we? Not only with our physical and emotional well-being, but also, for many, with the transition to working primarily from our homes. We are all concerned about meeting the demands of our jobs and balancing the needs of our families, while grappling with creating and maintaining the habits that will help us achieve both of these things.

Many of us struggle with the feeling we are not managing our jobs and our family relationships and responsibilities as well as we used to, and that even the simplest tasks can feel exhausting. It can be helpful to give context to what we all are experiencing in terms of “threat response” - which is our own biological wiring that helps protect us during a perceived crisis or threat.

Continue Reading