It’s rough out there. It’s OK to pamper yourself sometimes.
The continued spread of COVID-19 and news of the virus provides a daily, ever-present source of stress, perhaps especially during the holidays.
That’s true whether you’re working the front lines in health care worker, keeping grocery store shelves stocked or working from home to try to keep others safe.
But Rev. Kevin Massey, Advocate Aurora Health’s vice president of mission and spiritual care, sees some similarities between how people are feeling now and how they felt after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. In the aftermath, he worked as a chaplain at Ground Zero in New York City.
“These days are very similar to those,” Massey told WGN radio. “At that time, we felt uncertain about what was next. We feel that now, too. We were afraid and anxious. We feel that now too.”
“At the same time, was there not a spirit of unity that drew people together?” he says. “I see that happening now all over the place as well.”
Massey talks with health care workers, helping them get through times of stress. He compared them to the police officers and firefighters who worked at Ground Zero
“In those days, people put themselves in harm’s way to recover our lost with dignity,” Massey says. “And in these challenging days, then we’ve got our health care workers of every kind, caring for our patients and families with courage and skill.”
It takes a toll on everyone, but Massey on WGN preached about the importance of resiliency – the ability to bounce back after tough times.
“To be deeply affected does not mean that we are defeated,” he said. “And it turns out that resilience can be bolstered through practices of self-care and self-nurture and seeking human connectivity.”
Massey said it’s OK to indulge a little bit in service of caring for the social, emotional, physical and spiritual parts of your being.
“Right now, every one of us, let’s pamper ourselves,” he said. “Whatever that little thing is for you that you like to do to make yourself feel a little bit better, now is the time to do it. Because in so doing, we are kind of nurturing those beings, bolstering our resiliency, and helping ourselves bounce back when we’re brought low by these challenging days we’re going through.”
About the Author
Mike Riopell, health enews contributor, is a media relations coordinator with Advocate Aurora Health. He previously worked as a reporter and editor covering politics and government for the Chicago Tribune, Daily Herald and Bloomington Pantagraph, among others. He enjoys bicycles, home repair, flannel shirts and being outside.