An Open Letter of Love and Hope to Essential WorkersBy Homaira Kabir
My dear frontline healthcare worker,
Never has it been this hard for me to begin writing. But the reality is that words cannot do justice to the awe and gratitude we feel for you. You’ve stepped up to roles you hadn’t signed up for. As doctors and nurses, you rarely had to worry about catching your patient’s illness. As administrative and cleaning staff, you never feared the patients coming in and out of your hospitals.
And yet, today, this is your reality. Your heroism in the face of very real threats to you and your families has touched every heart. We each feel compelled to do our part in helping however we can. Mine is to share science-backed strategies to help you stay grounded when your world is in disarray, and to strengthen you when so much has been placed on your shoulders. It’s my sincere hope that these tips will see you through this immediate time of crisis and help you cope with the lingering effects of this time in the weeks and months to come.
Find Your Refuge
A refuge has traditionally been the place where your body can shift from fear and anxiety to the inner calm and wisdom that lives in all of us. Think of it like the peaceful seabed deep below the choppy waters. Given that you’re facing enormous challenges all day, I would urge you to identify three to five places of refuge you can turn to multiple times a day, so you get the little breaks you need to face what’s coming next. At work, these could be as simple as taking a couple of minutes to focus on your breath and slow it down to a steady pace. It could be looking out the window at the shining sun or the budding spring flowers. It could be a warm cup of co