S7E1: Steve Cuss on Faith, Anxiety, and Healthcare
How can healthcare providers manage the anxiety that comes with serving patients amid the coronavirus pandemic? How can Christians in healthcare love their neighbors through their work? Megan Nunnelly shares her experience leading a team of nurses serving patients with COVID-19. And pastor and author Steve Cuss helps us understand and identify the sources of anxiety in whatever field we work.
On chronic anxiety:
“Chronic anxiety is what happens when you don’t get what you think you need. Every day we find ourselves in situations where we’re chronically anxious because whenever we’re in a stressful environment, all of these things that we think we need start bubbling to the surface.”
On finding our triggers:
- “What is something in my life that I believe I need that I don’t actually need to be okay?”
- “Who in my life who loves me and knows that I’m not okay before I know it?”
- “How do you know when I’m anxious?”
On anxiety and healthcare:
“From my experience with anybody in the caring profession–pastors, social workers, healthcare professionals–we’re often the last person in the room to know when we’re not okay. And because we’re so others focused, we’re often not great at self-care. We wrap it up in the idea that we’re selfless people and that we’re serving others. We end up pouring it all out and getting burned out or feeling empty. We don’t believe, for example, that a very effective way to serve somebody is to take care of yourself. If you want to serve more people for longer, doing more work on self-care is actually the best way to serve others.”
On loving our neighbors:
“Jesus of Nazareth taught us to love our neighbor; for most of us who are caregivers, the way we love our neighbor is by emptying ourselves. But if the only way you [love your neighbor] is to empty yourself, you’re going to burn out. You’re going to get bitter and cynical and exhausted and angry…One way you can love and serve your neighbor–your fellow staff members and the patients that you take care of–is to fill yourself up and to love people out of the overflow of your own life.”
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