Reflections on What We’ve Lost, What We’ve Gained, and How To Stay Strong and Resilient
Plymouth, Mass. – It was two years ago this week, on March 10, 2020, that Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker declared a State of Emergency in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. That day, fewer than 10 people per day were testing positive for the virus in the Commonwealth. One month later, more than 2,000 people would test positive each day. Since then, more than 1.6 million Massachusetts residents have contracted COVID-19, and nearly 24,000 have died.
Sarah Cloud, MSW, LICSW, director of social work at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital–Plymouth (BID Plymouth), said the pandemic has undoubtedly put our collective psychological well-being to the test and suggests we all pause and reflect on this milestone. “Take an inventory of what was lost and what was gained,” Cloud advises. “Many people lost their routine, vacations plans, waistline and celebrations such as weddings and graduations. Others suffered the additional losses of loved ones, financial or housing stability. Collectively, we all lost connection with each other and with the world as we know it.”
Yet Cloud says we have also gained in other ways, such as through innovation, both personally and professionally. “Many people seized the opportunity to start a new business, try new hobbies, and focus on improvement projects, such as taking an on-line course or painting a room in their home.”
To mark the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on Massachusetts, Cloud shares these tips to attend to your mental hygiene as a way to shore up one’s mental resources, heal from what we’ve been through and to prepare for whatever may be ahead.
- Make sure you get plenty of exercise, eat and sleep properly
- Identify and interpret your feelings and regulate their intensity
- Think positively and look out for negative emotions
- Feed your social life and find support in others
- Identify what you can can’t control
Cloud says these emotional self-care habits will help you avoid negative behaviors, achieve emotional equilibrium and improve your quality of life.
About Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital–Plymouth
Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital–Plymouth (BID Plymouth) is a non-profit healthcare and hospice provider, serving 250,000 residents of 12 towns in Plymouth and Barnstable Counties. BID Plymouth is a full-service, 170-bed acute care community hospital accredited by The Joint Commission, the College of American Pathologists, the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer, and the American College of Radiology.
BID Plymouth is a part of Beth Israel Lahey Health, a health care system that brings together academic medical centers and teaching hospitals, community and specialty hospitals, more than 4,800 physicians and 36,000 employees in a shared mission to expand access to great care and advance the science and practice of medicine through groundbreaking research and education.