March 27, 2020 10 min read
There’s no easy way to say it – a pandemic means it’s a stressful time across the globe right now. To alleviate your worry, stress, and anxiety on such a tender subject, though, we wanted to put together this guide. There are some healthy ways you can manage your stress and anxiety around the Coronavirus, and that’s what we’re here to touch on today.
One important thing to remember is, everyone handles stress differently. Each person reacts differently during stressful situations, so the methods you use to manage your stress may vary from someone else’s. It’s learning to cope with that stress together that can make a community stronger.
We look at what the CDC recommends for how families can come together to cope with the stress, and how to reduce stress in oneself as well. They provide signs and changes to watch out for in children and teenagers when stressed. Likewise, they suggest staying informed of the real facts and potential risks involving COVID-19.
Understanding everything you can do on your part to prevent the Coronavirus or prevent the spread of it is vital to reducing stress and anxiety on the matter. We want you to feel reassured that you’re doing everything within your power to stay as safe and as healthy as possible. Even better, we want to provide you with all the ways you can personally stay safer from the disease.
It’s completely natural to be concerned that you or a loved one might get sick from the Coronavirus, or maybe your workplace closes, or maybe your children have to stay home from school, and you don’t have childcare set up yet. Whatever is stressing you out regarding the virus, there are some things you can do to healthfully push through this.
A plan of action, or even a backup plan, is always nice to have tucked away in case of emergencies. We recommend you start by writing out a list of any worries you might have about how COVID-19 could impact your life. Don’t let this stress you out more – if the idea makes you feel overwhelmed, take a break, or move onto the next step.
Then, try to think of all the potential solutions at your disposal. Think of any friends, family, communities, accounts, or other resources that could help you. Remember, it doesn’t have to be perfect – whatever comes to mind is just your starting place. It’s important when building these lists to not dwell on the circumstances that are beyond your control. Focus only on the concrete problems and issues you can change or resolve.
Finally, it’s time to draw up a plan of action. Dive into this plan of action as soon as you need it but keep it somewhere safe until then to keep your mind at ease. This is an excellent method for reducing stress and anxiety on the impact that the virus might have on your present situation.
Social distancing doesn’t mean social isolation on all fronts. In the world of today, we have the Internet, full of countless platforms to get in contact with another human being. Keep in contact with your friends, family, and close loved ones now more than ever. Stay updated on what’s happening in their life and keep them updated on what’s going on in yours – even if it’s just sitting at home self-quarantined. Social stimulation at a time like this is vital for emotional and mental health to remain at an appropriate level.
Humans are social creatures, which is why social distancing plays such a negative role in so many of us. Stay in communication through chats, texts, live video calls, and anything else you can do to keep your connection to the outside world alive. We have to cut back on in-person socialization, but we don’t have to give up the rest.
Social media can be a powerful asset during such a stressful time. We’re not alone, no matter how alone we might feel cooped up inside our own home. However, enough social media can still be overwhelming – especially with some of the negativity and panic being posted on some feeds.
Stay mindful of how your social media platforms are making you feel. If you start to feel anxious, stressed, or overwhelmed, maybe consider that it’s time to take a break. Some key signs are looking up things about the Coronavirus through social media instead of trying to use it as a distraction outlet.
When you take away the enjoyment of connecting with others and just use it to obsess more over COVID-19, you call into question the state of your anxiety. Don’t let the disease control every conversation. Try to use social media as an outlet to step away from the fear and panic incited from the virus.
You matter – your body, mind, and spirit are all important. The health of those is equally as important as a result. One of the healthiest ways you can reduce your anxiety and stress on the Coronavirus is to follow these tips on self-care. Everyone deserves to only focus on themselves from time to time. When you’re stuck at home with nothing to do but worry, now is a better time than any.
Or meditation. Or tai-chi. Or any other relaxation practice to start instilling habits and routines into your day. As an added benefit, relaxation techniques like yoga, meditation, and deep breathing help to ease the nervous system back into balance.
A state of equilibrium can sometimes be exactly what you need to feel better. Try to practice around the same time every day, even it’s only for a short period of time because regular daily practice delivers the most effective results.
Substance abuse may be easier to slip into at a time like this. Alcohol and other substances are not necessarily the best-equipped medicines to deal with depression or anxiety. Moderation is fine, but make sure you’re not overusing or abusing.
If you have a dog, this should be rather easy for you! Another suggestion is to play a game of catch like when you were a kid! Social distancing can be applied to sports all-the-same!
Find ways to exercise so that your immune system can stay in the shape it needs to be in to fight this thing off.
Staying active also helps manage mood, relieve stress, and release anxiety. We don’t recommend hitting the gym, but an at-home workout even with zero equipment is completely possible. You could also go for a walk, hike, or even cycle around your area, as long as you keep at least 6 feet between you and anyone else.
Take time out of each day to do an activity that you truly enjoy. Whether it’s crafting something, playing a video game, reading a good book, or any other interest you might have, set aside time to make sure you get to do it. Having a hobby to be able to slip into is a great way to reduce your stress levels and feel your worries melt away.
If you had a consistent routine to follow before COVID-19 hit, try to maintain that routine as best as you can. Sticking to a set schedule for when you sleep, eat, learn, work, or do something else you would have regularly can help to maintain at least a sense of normalcy.
Don’t forget to be kind to yourself during these trying times. You’re not alone in your struggles or how you feel, and any anxiety or stress on the situation is perfectly valid. Go easy on yourself if you find you’re experiencing more anxiety or depression than you typically might.
It’s great to be a shoulder for people to cry on, and an ear for listening when someone needs to vent – but you deserve the same in return. Make sure you’re building a good, emotionally healthy support system not just for the people around you, but also for yourself. Consider the people you consider to be part of your support system and evaluate whether those people would be there for you in a time of need.
Emotions are contagious, and it’s easy to immerse yourself around people that don’t stimulate the most positive of emotions. The level-headed, thoughtful people in your life that are good listeners are those who you should turn to right now while making sure they feel heard at the same time. Avoid talking about the virus, especially to people who might ramp up your fears or be negative about the subject.
There are even apps and other resources that allow you to access free emotional support if you don’t have a support system in place yet. Never feel alone in a world so big – there are people that care about you and want to make sure your emotional health is okay.
Sometimes, the best way to reduce anxiety and stress is to focus on others. It sounds so simple – but kindness is one thing some people seldom receive. Be kind to those around you, whether they’re your loved ones or a complete stranger. Refuse to allow this virus to promote prejudice, discrimination, and divided lines between us. As humanity, we’re so much better than that. Be kind to others and perform random acts of kindness.
A calming influence might be all someone needs to feel better about this situation. Be there for your friends and family during this stressful time. Help them deflect false rumors and prevent fear mongering from spreading further. Help fake news end at you so that it can’t press forward and incite further mass panic attack.
It’s okay if you don’t have the resources to – but others do. And for those that do, please donate. Whether that’s to a food bank or other donation center, panic-buying and hoarding mean you have supplies to spare. Others may be so low that they have to worry about where the next meal is coming from. You can be the connection that makes that worry end. If you find it in your heart, please donate.
There may be others in need. The elderly, disabled, and parents may all be struggling in different ways right now, and they’re just waiting for an ear to listen to their concerns. They might not even know it yet. Be that ear for them, and then help them from there. Fulfill a prescription, venture out to safely retrieve groceries for those that don’t want to risk it – do what you can to help.
Regardless of whether you’re in a high-risk group or not, everyone has a chance of getting and spreading the Coronavirus. Follow all guidelines in place for preventing the spread of the virus and do your part to truly end this disease before it becomes another statistic in our history books.
Of course, that’s easier said than done – but remember that if you stay home, follow all precautions and guidelines, and make sure you’re doing everything else you can to prevent it, then you’re going to be fine.
At a time like this, we simply ask for those in our community to follow this guide and stay safe. From our family to yours, we want everyone to do what they can to end this – together.
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