We've all been weathering the impact of a two-year pandemic that continues to affect our lives and requires constant adaptations. Childcare, eldercare, social connections, travel, conferences, and our general way of life has changed. Even the most resilient individuals working in healthcare and education are struggling with some level of burnout. The intensity of caring for patients during a pandemic, the demands often exceeding the staffing resources, constant changes, the unexpected deaths related to COVID, and level of emotional exhaustion is real.
Just when we began to take a breath from the Delta surge, the Omicron variant permeates the news. While some seem to go on about their lives without significant worry, others find themselves with renewed anxieties about infections. Jim Kendall, LCSW, Manager of Vanderbilt Work/Life Connections-EAP gives some advice on how to manage the fears that may reappear with this new variant surge.
October is Depression Awareness Month. Now more than ever, it is important to take stock of your mood and mental health. Learn the signs and symptoms of depression, and the resources available to you.
We hoped that we were going to get back to "normal", but the Delta variant has swept through the country and made its way to Nashville. It feels like déjà vu, except at this point we still have access to toilet paper. At this juncture, Vanderbilt faculty, staff, and students are mostly protected by vaccinations.
The past year has been hard on our mental health. The good news is that there is greater awareness that we all need for regular self-care. Work/Life Connections-EAP shares tips on how to stay resilient as we continue to deal with difficult times.
Some people enjoy a drink periodically to socialize, to unwind, or to enhance a meal. While 80% of problem drinkers are employed, 8% of Americans have a diagnosable alcohol disorder. According to several studies, alcohol consumption has increased during the pandemic, especially in women. When it comes to alcohol consumption, how much is too much?
The Coronavirus pandemic has been traumatizing and 2020 has been an exhausting year. As a result, many have been living much of the time in "survival mode." Anxiety, fear, and trauma interrupt our ability to readily access our frontal cortex. This is the part of our brain that controls our cognitive skills including problem solving, memory, and emotional expression. It serves as the brain's "dispatch center." When functioning in survival mode, it is harder to focus, prioritize, and effectively manage conflict. This can impact an individual's productivity.
We often find ourselves walking by someone and casually say, "How are you doing?" and we fully expect that they will answer, "Fine," and we will both continue walking. Somehow, these days seem different. Vanderbilt's Work/Life Connections-EAP gives some tips on how to check in on your friends and colleagues in this time of greater stress.
Social media and news coverage of shootings, bombings, protests, sexual assaults, and other events has been graphic and intense. In general, experiencing violence can result in serious psychological distress, including depression, anxiety, and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). While people may not develop a psychological disorder after hearing first-hand accounts or viewing graphic, real-time images of these events, people do experience strong emotions, such as fear, sadness, grief, and anger.
The Winter Holidays are a time of anticipation and meaning for many. They remind us of our family traditions, our childhoods, and an array of expectations. This year, COVID-19 will also change our holiday celebrations. Vanderbilt Work/Life Connections-EAP shares some ways in which you can navigate the holidays, and manage the negative feelings which this holiday season may bring.