First Responder Spouse Resilience Strategies In Covid-19

coping coping skills coronavirus covid-19 first responder spouse grief healtyh mental health resilience


First Responder Spouses, like you I can feel anxious, lonely and exhausted.

 Worrying about the safety of our First Responder. The possibility of exposure to COVID-19 and the potential to bring it home to our family. 

 Lonely while our First Responder works long hours, shift work, the night shift.

 Exhausted as we homeschool and parent alone for long hours without a break.  


What if this was happening for us and not to us?

 Providing us with time for us to BE instead of DO.

 The First Responder Children I work with report feeling less stressed from their world slowing down. No more rushing. Time to be still and with their family.

 First Responder Families tell me they feel less stressed juggling the roles in their life. How this time has given them a chance to reset.

 It is rare to have time to spend together as a family. To have meals together. To sit together. 


What if this provides an opportunity?

 Could this be an opportunity to connect, play and slow down as a family?

 An opportunity to strengthen our connections and relationships within our family?

 Reacquainting ourselves with ourselves, our partner, our children.


How can we connect with our loved ones to come out of this experience stronger mentally, emotionally and relationally?

 What if we focus on what is in our control?

 Choose a different mindset. A growth mindset.

 What if we stay open, curious, becoming a learner during this challenging time?


Taking the time to sprinkle self care moments throughout our day.

 Practice deep breathing.

 To be present in the moment. 

 To be creative.


Could this be a time to dream and create goals as individuals, a couple and family? 

 If we have been hoping to have space in our life to obtain a goal, this might be our time. If we have wanted to write a book, run 5k, learn how to crochet, start a yoga practice, master meditation, now could be our time!


What if we took out our planners and plugged in daily small chunks of time for ourselves and our goals?

Possibly we could consider creating a new routine for ourselves and our First Responder Family. 

  • Getting up an extra hour early before our family arises. Savoring this time for ourselves to start our day, our way. 
  • Walking outside for thirty minutes a day
  • Creating a new normal with healthy habits. 


Developing a skeleton routine can help us and our family feel more in control during a time of uncertainty while staying flexible to adapt to changes. Research shows having a routine increases mental health, coping and achieving our goals.

 Breakout the coloured markers and paper, sit down as a family and discuss your goals individually and as a family to create a daily schedule outline. 


What projects have we been putting off? Could this be a time to check these off?

 Research tells us an organized home increases our mental health. What can we do right now in our homes to create a space we love? What can we declutter?  This week a friend said her goal has been to clean out her family’s freezer. She is seizing the opportunity. Their family is eating everything in their freezer and cupboards before buying groceries anew.


How can we show up, connect and make a difference where we are?

 Where could we focus our energy, time and make a difference right now to feel capable, resourceful and secure?


While social distancing we do not have to be disconnected.

 We can choose to set up virtual connections with our loved ones, start a bookclub on zoom and stay connected with those who make us feel good. 


OR maybe it’s a time to BE. To feel. To accept where we are in this very moment. 

 We are all going to feel differently right now. When a crisis hits we can judge each other for how others ‘should’ be responding or worse compare ourselves to others thinking we ‘should’ be doing, feeling, acting differently.

 Let’s hold ourselves and others gently right now. Let’s choose to be kind to ourselves and others in our thoughts, words and actions. 


While accepting we are in a global crisis, let’s avoid fortune telling of what we think or fear the future might hold.

 Let us practice staying in the moment we are in,  focusing on what is in our control.


We have an opportunity to develop a lifestyle that builds our First Responder Family’s immune system to become resilient to the changes happening around us. 

 Breathe. Focus on what we can control, a growth mindset, plugging self care moments to focus on deep breathing throughout our day. Following our intuition balancing the BE-ing and the DO-ing, based on paying attention to what we need in the moment.  

 Above all, as you take on the challenges of homeschooling your children and supporting your first responder family through these challenges remember you are enough.


 Right now, whatever you are doing, wherever you are, however you show up, is enough. Showing up is enough. 

 Holding space for those you love is enough. What you have to give and pour into yourself and others is enough. You got this! You are not alone, we are in this together. 

If you are interested in extra support for YOU to meet your First Responder Family’s wellness and resiliency goals, the First Responder Family Wellness Center is offering individual online coaching sessions, consider booking a FREE consultation here.

 Our 5 tools FREE download includes coping and grounding skills list, we hope it might be a helpful resource for your First Responder Family.

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