Tag: nurses helping nurses

December 8, 2020
how to support care givers, how to help first responders pandemic, how to help family members on covid front lines, wholeness center


In our November blog post, we shared some things you need to know about grief – particularly in these times. We talked a bit about how the complex layers of loss, during the pandemic, are impossible to escape.

Please consider the extra weight caregivers must bear in order to ensure our survival.

Our caregivers embody the whole of our grief. They are the teachers. They are medical first responders. They are mental health professionals. They are food chain supporters. They are public servants.

And more than their indescribable responsibility, more than their grief or exhaustion – their selflessness and courage are bits of grace and graciousness we can hold onto. When every day feels like a matter of life and death, we look for these heroes as a sailor looks for a lighthouse in a stormy sea.

But how do we ensure care for our caregivers in the midst of a global pandemic?


While you may have felt a lull in the urgency of the pandemic over the summer, our caregivers have not stopped working with heightened trauma and alarm. They have been experiencing high levels of burnout for many months. If you have a partner or family member who is in a caregiver role, look for these signs of disruption:

  1. Physical and Mental Exhaustion – This might be described as brain fog or lethargy following large amounts of activity or none at all. At this time, we are absorbing the overall energy of those around us. Caregivers are exposed to many people and emotions.
  1. Detachment and Cynicism – The pandemic has forced us to collectively look at systems within our homes and beyond. This is a general feeling of wanting to choose how to spend energy and also not feeling like we have a choice in how to spend energy. Caregivers are left feeling a deep frustration at the ways in which things do or don’t work.
  1. Poorer Performance and Feelings of Inadequacy – This lack of motivation might be the signal for a greater sense of not “doing enough” or not “being enough”. With no end in sight, caregivers might start to feel like nothing they do makes a difference.


If you feel a yearning for a sense of “normalcy” during the pandemic, it’s important to be patient with those caregivers that are keeping our systems afloat. Watch for signs of burnout and adjust your expectations accordingly. While you may find breaks from the stressors of the pandemic, caregivers are grappling on a different level.


If you are a partner or a family member of a caregiver, remember that they must prioritize time for self-care. Brianna Bendixson, MA at Wholeness Center says, “Although it sounds simple, it can feel challenging, or even impossible, for many people to prioritize time for themselves while balancing family or work obligations.”

Here are a few ways to encourage caregivers to practice self-care at home:

  1. Taking shoes off and putting bare feet on the grass or dirt
  1. Sitting on the ground with your back against a tree trunk
  1. Walking outside and feeling the direct sunshine on your face
  1. Taking a cold shower, or simply turning the shower cold for a minute or two
  1. Smelling a favorite candle or essential oil
  1. Putting fresh flowers in the house 

At this time, when the caregiver is giving so much to everyone else, you might wish for more of them when they’re home. Remember this time in our history will pass. What is most important to our collective wellbeing is that caregivers are first and foremost taking care of themselves. Family members are a crucial part in enabling self-care for caregivers.

There is no time in our history where we have asked more of our essential workers. They are the backbone of our nation and deserve our patience and kindness. It is crucial that we give them the space and authority to do what is best for us AND AT THE SAME TIME, give them the grace and kindness to care for themselves

Make sure to subscribe to our monthly newsletter for more resources and guidance in finding wholeness as part of everyday life: SUBSCRIBE HERE. 

Please contact the Wholeness Center if you have questions about integrative medicine, and/ or mental health alternatives. If you live in the Northern Colorado/ Ft. Collins area and would like to learn more about the innovative programs the Wholeness Center has to offer, please call 970-221-1106 or email info@wholeness.com.