by Amber Ambrose, Lauren McDowell, Lauren Patterson, Todd Green • March 12, 2021
Frontline Health Care Worker and Women’s Empowerment Coach
Ashley Cockrell is a nurse practitioner who worked in a Houston clinic during the COVID-19 pandemic testing patients and managing test results. “The last year has been full of observing, learning, adapting and communicating with one another as health professionals,” she says, describing checking daily for updates from the CDC and federal and state health agencies.
Pandemic fatigue is taking its toll with many health care workers feeling discouraged without a definitive end in sight. “It has been stressful for everyone. Patients having symptoms are wondering ‘Should I get tested?;’ frontline workers are wondering each day ‘Will I be exposed?’ Everyone is weary,” Cockrell says.
Still, serving the Houston community as a nurse during the pandemic has been one of the most fulfilling things Cockrell’s ever done. In fact, it has helped her remember why she became a nurse in the first place. Her goals have been to maintain safety, sanity and cultivate personal resilience so that she can carry out her mission as a nurse—to care for people no matter the circumstances.
The pandemic did highlight for Cockrell the number of women who work in caregiving positions and who are often left empty and exhausted due to the physically and emotionally taxing nature of their work. A high achieving Vanderbilt graduate, Cockrell is no stranger to the pressure women feel to give until there’s nothing left. Working through COVID-19 reignited her fire to pour into other women so that they are empowered to do the work they’re called to do, an endeavor that she tackles on her blog and social media.
She invites her readers and followers to join her on a “living spree”—a credo of self-love, self-care and self-discovery. “I want to help professional women go from burnout to balance by realizing their natural gifts and talents,” Cockrell says. The coach and motivator hosts one-on-one sessions and online workshops and plans to hold destination retreats, when it is safe to travel again.
To relax, Cockrell loves to visit Discovery Green and enjoy the city views, picturesque lake and green space. “It’s definitely underrated.”