6 Self-Care Strategies for Handling COVID Vaccine Envy
By: Rachel Parodneck, LMSW
It’s a miracle! The COVID vaccine was finally, FINALLY created and is now being distributed. This is great news, right? Hold on a minute. It’s only available to a select few groups of people. That’s right, it’s being distributed in very specific and measured phases. First it was available to healthcare workers, then the eligibility broadened to include people over 65 years old, first responders, corrections, teachers, public transit, homeless shelters, and services. Next, it was essential workers such as cab drivers and restaurant workers. Most recently it is those with underlying conditions who are now eligible.
For people who fit none of the criteria for eligibility, it can be very difficult watching those around you get vaccinated. Although happy for loved ones who are able to get the vaccine, it’s still challenging knowing that others are able to get this highly coveted shot while you remain ineligible.
This can also add to tensions between friends and family. When one or multiple people are vaccinated, they are able to have peace of mind when it comes to being relatively protected against COVID. But if there are many people living in one household, and some are vaccinated while others aren’t, this can only make coping with life during the pandemic more fraught with emotions. The same goes for groups of friends
There becomes a difference in risk for those who have been vaccinated whereas those who have not been vaccinated may need to be more careful. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could all have a sense of normalcy restored?
With this vaccine envy, there comes a sense of guilt. It’s normal and okay to be slightly (or let’s be real here, VERY) envious of those getting the vaccine. While those vaccinated get to enjoy a huge weight off their shoulders and feelings of being protected, many people who are ineligible feel left in the dust.
What can you do to secure peace of mind while you bide your time until you are eligible? Practice self-care in a variety of ways, such as:
- Journaling about it
- Exercising regularly
- Getting adequate sleep
- Eating a nutritious diet
- Continuing to be vigilant about wearing a mask and maintaining social distance
Although this waiting period is tough, remind yourself that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and you will be eligible eventually. This pandemic will not be here forever. The more people get vaccinated, the better it is for everyone. So although all of these people getting the shot may seem luckier than you, in reality they are building herd immunity which benefits you too!
Hang in there, we’re right here with you. If you need a safe space to vent or someone to listen with a supportive ear, book an appointment with one of our healthcare professionals today.