PsychPearls: COVID-19, A Critical Time for Self-Care


How can psychiatrists practice self-care and avoid burnout? How can mental health professionals balance the needs to protect oneself and one’s family while caring for patients during this pandemic? Here to discuss is Joshua Morganstein, MD, Chair of the American Psychiatric Association Committee on the Psychiatric Dimensions of Disaster.


Self-care will be very important for both the general public as well as psychiatrists and other health care personnel. People are understandably concerned and feeling distracted with a lot of their attention on managing the crisis at hand. It is easy for self-care to be overlooked at a time like this, but it becomes particularly important.

Getting adequate sleep and eating and staying hydrated are going to allow people to think more clearly, solve problems, and respond to challenges more effectively. When parents provide for their own self-care, they are better able to care for the needs of their children.

Exercise is a helpful way to lower stress. It doesn't have to be in a gym or other facility. Going for a walk or other outdoor activities maybe even as a family provides an opportunity to connect with each other as well as neighbors, share ideas, stay close as a family, and just be reminded that we are all in this together.

Transcript edited for clarity. -Ed

Have more COVID concerns and clinical tips? Email us at We may share your stories, queries, or thoughts in a future editorial or even as a standalone piece. Check out our COVID-19 Resource Page for Psychiatrists.

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