During the COVID-19 pandemic, we all live in an extraordinary reality of life and death on the line. First responders – caregivers, EMTs, firefighters, law enforcement, military, and medical personnel – live and work in this environment on a daily basis. Unless addressed with self-care, the effects of first responder traumatic stress can result in physical illness, PTS, relationship issues, and burnout. For everyone now experiencing our crisis to stay healthy, the energy charge of stress must ultimately be decompressed and managed, not buried. A key skill to practice includes the metaphor of pushing the “pause button” during critical situations.

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