By Libby Smith

DENVER (CBS4) – In the battle against coronavirus, healthcare workers are on the front lines. Nurses, in particular, are dealing with long hours, high caseloads, and the anxiety of potentially infecting their families.

Tara Rynders had seen compassion fatigue and burn out among nurses before coronavirus. In 2018, she developed a workshop called Do No Harm, in which nurses but their stories into words, and then developed movements for those words.

COVID Stories (credit Tara Rynders)

“It’s trauma that we have that needs to be moved through us and movement is a way to do that,” Rynders explained.

She tapped into her experience as a life-long dancer, with the goal of making nurses feel seen, heard and cared for.

“We are interpreting what these movements are, what these emotions are physically and offering them and releasing them and letting them go,” Rynders said.

COVID Stories II (credit Tara Rynders)

In the wake of coronavirus, her work became even more relevant. She created COVID Stories, where nurses recorded their stories via zoom, and then put them to movement.

“People are more open to addressing these issues, and to talk about them, and to destigmatize this idea around our mental health, and that we can only take so much,” Rynders told CBS4.

COVID Stories II (credit Tara Rynders)

Now she’s presenting Resiliency Moments. She paired a nurse and an artist together virtually for a one-on-one, 30-minute creative experience. She’s hosting a virtual event on Thursday, July 2nd from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. at the websites:  The Clinic, A Blade of Grass, and Reimagine. The event is free and open to the public.

“It goes back to being vulnerable and honest. I always encourage in our self-care, the first thing we can do is tell the truth about where we’re at and how we feel. And so it’s allowing nurses to tell the truth,” Rynders said.

Rynders hopes to lift up her fellow nurses so that they can go back to their jobs with the compassion they need.

Libby Smith

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