Self-care tips for journalists

Reframe your goals with COVID contract

We know that writing down goals dramatically increases the likelihood you’ll achieve them

So why haven’t we written out our No. 1 shared goal during this pandemic: How we’ll survive? 

This week, certified professional coach Mary Ellen Ball wrote about self-care: “If one more person uses that airplane metaphor, telling me to put on my oxygen mask first, I will cut them. There is no mask. The masks are on fire along with my sanity.”

In her article, Ball shares her “COVID contract,” a roadmap outlining her work and personal goals as she balances responsibilities in these unforeseen circumstances. 

Here’s how you can craft your own COVID contract to share with family, friends or colleagues: 

  • Focus on resiliency-based goals, not tasks: Articulating the need to improvise, a shared understanding of roles, and expectation of trust and safety above else is key.  
  • Reset your expectations. You likely have experienced symptoms of burnout, and a busy fall could cause your flame to flicker more. Think what you can take on and at what level of care. 
  • Be honest. You’re living in a pandemic, and the reality has set in that life is going to be different for some time. 
  • Inject some humor. Laughter is good for us, and an important survival skill


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