Coping with Stress Due to COVID
Mar 30, 2020
If you are feeling worried or anxious about what's happening across the globe - and here at home - because of COVID-19, you aren't alone. Many people are experiencing feelings that are overwhelming.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), people who may respond more strongly to the stress of a crisis include:
- Older people and people with chronic diseases who are at higher risk for COVID-19
- Children and teens
- People who are helping with the response to COVID-19, like doctors and other health care providers, or first responders
- People who have mental health conditions including problems with substance use
Stress during an infectious disease outbreak can include:
- Fear and worry about your own health and the health of your loved ones
- Changes in sleep or eating patterns
- Difficulty sleeping or concentrating
- Worsening of chronic health problems
- Increased use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs
People with preexisting mental health conditions should continue with their treatment and be aware of new or worsening symptoms.
Things you can do to support yourself and the people you care for:
- Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting.
- Take care of your body. Take deep breaths, stretch, or meditate. Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep, and avoid alcohol and drugs.
- Make time to unwind. Try to do some other activities you enjoy.
- Connect with others through calls (audio or video), instant messaging, email, letters, or other forms of communication, even if you cannot be together in person.
- Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling.
If you, or someone you care about, is feeling overwhelmed with emotions like sadness, depression, or anxiety, or if you are concerned about harming yourself or others, call the Helpline Center at 211. If you feel it is an emergency, call 911.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)