Don’t Forget About Self-care During the Pandemic

Sean Baumstark avatar

by Sean Baumstark |

Share this article:

Share article via email
push, avoiding distractions, self-care, what matters

There’s never a “good time” for the world to face a pandemic, or for a region or community to deal with such a significant threat to our health and lives. I suppose we can do or could have done certain things to be better prepared. And I’m sure that everyone would choose to avoid such a threat altogether. Some times may be “better” than others, but given the choice, we’d skip the hard stuff if we could.

In the midst of all the activity that COVID-19 is generating, I’m thankful that I listened to my body a couple of weeks ago and took steps to focus on self-care while allowing for less work and more rest. The recent reduction in workdays was critical to my body’s continued recovery from my broken femur, but also the ongoing progression of my Friedreich’s ataxia.

Although I anticipated about a month of “smooth sailing” in terms of my work versus rest balance, the short time frame of just over two weeks has been more significant than I could have imagined.

With the looming threat of lockdown across many parts of the country, supermarkets and grocery stores have found themselves in the middle of the public’s preparations for extreme isolation. Business at work seemed to jump 60 percent overnight, then another 40 percent, followed by another 40 percent, and things have not slowed down since.

Thankfully, the company I work for has reasonable expectations and staff are encouraged to do what we think is best for ourselves and our families. Of course, associates have the option to work overtime if they want to.

I enjoy being a part of the team that helps our communities get through stressful and hectic periods. However, I also enjoy being healthy, well-rested, and able to give 100 percent of my performance every day that I show up.

My day-to-day work right now has been slightly different than my normal duties, and it’s wearing me out more than usual. However, my priorities haven’t changed over the past couple of weeks, so I’m still following an overall reduced work plan. This will allow me to better prepare myself for a stronger, more sustained contribution as needs arise.

Even though life as we know it is in the midst of some chaos, this column’s message is to be diligent in doing what is best for you and your loved ones. We should be putting ourselves first to the extent that we can support and help those around us more effectively.

As I mentioned in a recent podcast episode that touched on this topic, when we let our guards down in the area of self-care, we cause our output to suffer — at home, work, school, everywhere. When one area is affected, many, if not all, areas begin to suffer.

For the millions of folks who are sheltering in place and perhaps working from home, we have no good excuse not to rest, practice self-care, and get all our chores done too. So … get to it.


Friedreich’s Ataxia News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.


Leave a comment

Fill in the required fields to post. Your email address will not be published.