Trauma, emergency medicine, mass casualties and the anthrax outbreak gave way to creative solutions for the design of ER One in late 2001. We met these challenges with design for bacteria mitigation, workflow stimulations, staff respite and positive distractions. Today we have new challenges that are changing our world as we knew it. There are important lessons we can learn that are applicable in today’s Corona Virus pandemic.
The news and social media are important links that provides up to the minute data which keeps the world informed on the pandemic. It provides, numbers, instruction, warnings, human stories that both apprise us and terrify us. The worried well is growing exponentially. The restrictions are canceling worship service, graduations, weddings and other vital events that keep us grounded as well provide our need of pleasure.
Dusting off my ER One research, we found that “Positive distractions” provided that human centric glue that helped keep things in perspective while in the Emergency Department. It showed that patients were less anxious and agitated. Today that need extends far beyond the walls of the emergency department. We need it in our self-quarantined homes, senior living homes and certainly in our media.
So, what are positive distractions? They elements of interest, beauty, and pleasure that elicit positive feelings and holds our attention thereby diverting stress and worrisome thoughts. It doesn’t mean dodging heartache, but it can be a way to ease the pain and stay in the moment. These features can help reduce stress, anxiety and pain: Here are some of my personal tips on incorporating positive distractions into our life in times of this pandemic.
Think Spring: Our calendar just marked the first day of spring. Find the beauty of spring, discover the transition from the dead of winter to the new life of Spring. Open a window, listen to the birds, what does spring mean to you? Rediscover it.
Call Family & Friends: Pick up the phone, not email or text, share a friendly voice with others especially those at risk or quarantined. Share those loving acts of kindness.
Do Something Creative: Pick up that forgotten hobby, read some poetry, sing out loud, bake something, you got the idea.
Connect with Nature: Nature is our mother; we need our mother to heal. Find her and connect with her in your own personal way.
These are just a few ways; you can expand this and make it your own and share it with others. We will get through this. So spread some joy along this challenging journey back to health and wellbeing. Be healthy, safe, happy and kind.