This Is a Marathon, Not a Sprint: Pacing Yourself Through the Pandemic, with Françoise Mathieu

Season 2Episode 8April 22, 2020

Françoise Mathieu of TEND joined us to discuss healthy ways to handle working in a high-stress job in the middle of an even more stressful pandemic.

Child protection professionals have tough jobs on any day. Add in a pandemic, and you’re piling stress on top of stress. We talked to Françoise Mathieu, executive director of TEND, an academy in Canada offering resources and training to address the needs of workers in high-stress, trauma-exposed workplaces like Children’s Advocacy Centers and their partner agencies.

Françoise is a globally recognized expert on addressing burnout, compassion fatigue, and vicarious trauma in these high-stress workplaces. Naturally, she’s a great person to talk to about how to cope with the added stress and fear of a pandemic while working in fields that already have their share of these issues on the best of days. What’s a healthy response? Why should we stop saying, “Well, when things go back to normal …”? How do we deal with the ever-present feeling that we’re not doing enough? And how do we care for ourselves and our colleagues while keeping our distance? This interview was recorded on Zoom, and there are minor fluctuations in sound quality.

Topics in this episode:

  • Reacting to the pandemic: denial first (1:28)
  • Feeling guilty that you’re not doing enough (8:23)
  • Grief and the new normal (19:11)
  • Caring for yourself and others (31:34)
  • A sense of moral injury (38:40)
  • Healthy habits to get you through the crisis (43:21)
  • Free resources (50:50)
  • Our next episode (53:58)


Françoise Mathieu, executive director of TEND

This Is a Marathon, Not a Sprint: Strategies to Address Wear & Tear in Helping Professionals During COVID-19

Black swan theory


Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital by Sheri Fink

Linda Cordisco Steele

Leaders Are People Too: Staying Well During COVID-19,” interview with Dr. Patricia Fisher

Karen Hangartner

TEND’s COVID-19 resources.“Feet on the Floor.” The Three Minute Breathing SpaceStaying Well During COVID-19.

Secondary Traumatic Stress Consortium COVID-19 Resources

NCA’s COVID-19 response page

Stephen Covey’s Circles of Concern and Influence (video)

Transcript to come.