In April 2020, panic was in the air, and our entire hospital was converted to a COVID-19 hospital.
Amid the general stressors, including lockdown, the lack of basic supplies, childcare issues, and using public transportation for commuting, my biggest fear was being exposed to COVID-19 patients and infecting my family.
Despite taking all precautions, I was aware that as an acute care PT, exposure to infections is a reality of my job.
Admittedly, my anxiety began impacting my patient care and draining me emotionally. I came home tired. Small messes at home would irritate me, and if the kids didn’t listen I felt strong anger and frustration, which was never the situation before. If patients refused therapy, I didn’t feel motivated to encourage them. My fears skyrocketed if I found out that the patient I treated two days before subsequently had tested positive for COVID-19.
The old me — the one from 10 years ago — would still be going through the same suffering and paying the toll on my well-being. Fortunately, because of my mindfulness practices, I was able to handle my fears calmly and develop more resilience during this challenging situation.