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Public Health Epidemiology Conversations Podcast


Episode #148 Beyond Stressed Out In Public Health

Beyond Stressed Out In Public Health

Let’s hit the pause button on everything going on around us for a few minutes and focus on ourselves. As a professional group, we are beyond stressed out and if we don’t pause and take better care of ourselves, then we will not be able to advance our mission. In this episode, I’m transparent, vulnerable with you to demonstrate my point and hopefully help you in the process.

Honest Self Evaluation of Stress Level Is Necessary

Right now, more than ever, it is important that you evaluate your own stress level and be honest with yourself about where you are and what you need.

Stress Self Evaluation For Public Health Professionals

  • Recognizing Stress among others vs ourselves

  • Understanding the dangers of stress among others vs. ourselves

  • The pandemic and heightened awareness of systemic racism are added on top of the normally stressful world we live in

  • We cannot afford to allow stress to cause harm to our bodies, impact our lives, and hinder our mission

  • Evaluate your stress level, your support system, your coping mechanism, your management strategy, your prevention strategy

  • If you don’t have a strategy, develop one (now)

  • Honestly evaluate your current stress level, then we will talk about steps for creating a strategy to address this in your life

Tips for Public Health Professionals Right Now

Use your support system. Don't wait to "feel" signs of being stressed to take action. Take regular action, knowing that we live in very stressful times and it is all around us. The level of self-care you need depends on you. (NOTE: Black women and women of color, you need at least twice as much self-care as you think you do. So, plan to double whatever amount of self-care you think you need right now.)

Don’t under estimate the power of seemingly little things like focused breathing, meditation, a hot bath, candles, walks in the park, a few moments petting your dog or cat. It adds up.

Find an outlet for the thoughts in your head and in your heart, because they are not always the same. If you have someone to talk to openly, and you feel safe to do so, you’re blessed. Cherish that person or those people and lean in regularly.

If you don’t have someone that you trust with your thoughts and feelings, then do not carry that heaviness around. Start journaling. Write to yourself and keep it private but at least get it out. Start a blog and use a pen name if that makes you feel more comfortable. The point is, find a way to get it out of your head and heart.


Listen to the episode now to hear my full story

I’m very open and transparent in sharing my story to demonstrate how well some of us mask stress and keep on going, focusing on everyone around us except ourselves…(even though we know better).


Pictures of My First Floor Disaster Zone

Tour Of My First Floor Disaster Zone

This a not so glamorous video tour of my downstairs disaster zone, as discussed in this podcast episode. Notice the big broken fridge off to the side (we're still waiting for delivery of our new one) and the college dorm fridge sitting on the kitchen table. For full effect, turn up the volume to hear how loud the background noise is with all of those fans, and try to hear my description during the tour.

My 15 Year Old Maltese (Rockie) Refuses To Come Back Inside

He was so stress with all of the noise and sudden changes to his environment. It took me 3 hours to convince him to come back inside. I treated him to a day at the doggie spa to make up for it. He's ok now.


Your Thoughts?

Your thoughts and comments about this podcast episode and message are welcome below. Just scroll down and add your feedback. What's your stress level? Have you paused long enough to really think about it? What will you do?

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