Chapter 5: Staying well during COVID-19

Strategies at work

What the grief expert says
Dr. Tara Tucker, psychotherapist, explains how mindful practice and self-care help us as healers. (3:22)Video transcript

“Life does not cease to be funny when people die any more than it ceases to be serious when people laugh.”  – George Bernard Shaw

Although not well researched, there are several factors that may protect healthcare providers from the negative impacts of grief. Grief is natural and normal, so these strategies are not aimed at protection from grief itself; however, they can help us to move through the grieving process with less difficulty.

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Making work meaningful

There are times when we may feel discouraged about our work, especially during the global pandemic. If we see our actions as helpful to patients, residents, and clients, and making a meaningful contribution during COVID-19 we may be better equipped to put difficult situations into perspective. This does not mean we won’t be grieving.  Consider… What makes work meaningful is different for each person; and it can change over time.


No matter how serious a situation may be, there can be a time and place for humour. Sharing a smile or a laugh with a co-worker can be part of the bond you share.  Consider… humour that is mean-spirited or demeaning may deepen your grief and leave you feeling isolated. Be mindful of the humour you share and when you share it. 

Support from others

Regardless of discipline or role, most people who work in healthcare often look to their colleagues for support. They best understand the demands of our work, including our grief.   Consider…  How supportive is your team and your workplace? Be mindful of who you are sharing with.  You may have close family members or friends who can support you in ways a colleague cannot.

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Reflective exercise

How is my work meaningful to me?

How does my work disconnect me from what matters most? What can I do to change that?

How does my work fit with who I am?