Resources for Health Care Providers Managing Stress and Anxiety During the COVID-19 Crisis

        Graphical abstract

        In a crisis, self-care may be the last thing on the minds of those caring for others. But now more than ever patients and residents depend on the providers’ inner strength, resilience, and clarity of mind. The following tools will help health care providers foster these qualities now and develop skills and habits for continued self-care beyond these challenging times.
        • Popular: Free access to Headspace, a mindfulness and meditation application, for U.S. health care professionals through 2020.
        • Short: A free mediation app, Simple Habit offers short, goal- and situation-specific meditations for busy people.
        • Comprehensive: Free Coronavirus Sanity Guide from Ten Percent Happier, a meditation app, which is also currently free for health care workers.
        • Trauma-specific: The Meditation Rx app, originally designed for people facing illness and their families, offers guided meditations for stress relief and relaxation in traumatic times. It is free to download for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic.
        • Spiritual: Free guided meditations and other pandemic care resources developed by Tara Brach, PhD, are based on a blend of Western psychology and Eastern spiritual practices.
        • Scientific: Free meditations and other resources by Rick Hanson, PhD, a renowned psychologist and author who teaches how to grow inner strength through mindfulness, self-compassion, and positive emotions.
        • Compassionate: Learn Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC™), an approach developed by Kristin Neff, PhD, in collaboration with Christopher Germer, PhD, who defines it as “treating ourselves with the same kindness and understanding with which we’d want to treat someone we truly love.” Meditations ( and articles ( on the use of MSC in the time of COVID-19 are available for free.
        • Basic:
          • For those new to meditation, free loving-kindness meditation audios, developed by Barbara Fredrickson, PhD, an award-winning researcher at the University of North Carolina.
          • UCLA Mindful, a free, easy-to-use app for practicing mindfulness meditation anywhere, anytime with the guidance of the UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center.
          • Mindfulness Coach 2, a free app with self-guided program including exercises and resources to learn mindfulness, developed by Department of Veteran’s Affairs.
        • Custom: Guided imagery recordings by Belleruth Naparstek, ACSW, BCD, psychotherapist, clinical social worker, author, and guided imagery pioneer.
        The editors of Caring for the Ages thank Diane Snyder Cowan, Sarah Janssen, MSW, LCSW, and Scott (John) Janssen, MSW, LCSW, for their help with compiling this list.