We should still appreciate essential workers, who’ve been getting us through pandemic, like we rallied for them, when it first hit.
Researchers from four different US universities have found that essential workers, who receive public praise, are actually energized by it. And they recover in healthy ways, from the intense stress of their jobs; while those who don’t receive that praise experience negative emotions. They are more likely to drink, smoke, or overeat, to recover from work.
The study reveals that a significant number of essential workers in less visible fields—corrections officers, sanitation workers, truck drivers—feel like the public has expressed no gratitude toward them, at all.
Researchers say those who felt seen and appreciated were more likely to engage in healthy activities, associated with a positive mental state, like exercising, meditating, and spending time outdoors.
Study authors say the results demonstrate the importance of public gratitude for essential workers’ long-term health, well-being, and indirectly, the quality of their work.
They also say the findings are applicable, even beyond COVID-19, to other health crises and disaster situations – when essential workers do critical work. And they apply to routinely stressful events.
Study co-author Sarah Doyle says people should remember that expressions of gratitude are essentially free, and yet they can have a substantial impact on the well-being of essential personnel.
Learn more, here: (EurekAlert!)