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Tips to Cope with Stress During the COVID19 Pandemic

Updated: Jun 12, 2020

The outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) can be a stressful time. Fear and anxiety about a disease can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adults and children. Feelings of worry and fear about your health and the health of those you care about can be tough to deal with. If you or someone you know is experiencing the following signs of stress, there are some helpful tips to cope with the stress.

  • Changes in sleep or eating patterns.

  • Difficulty sleeping or concentrating.

  • Worsening of chronic health problems.

  • Worsening of mental health conditions.

  • Increased use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs.

  • Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations

Ways to cope include taking breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting. You can also do the following:

  • Take care of your body.

  • Take deep breaths, stretch, or meditate.

  • Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals.

  • Exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep.

  • Avoid alcohol and drugs.

  • Make time to unwind. Try to do some other activities you enjoy.

  • Connect with others.

  • Talk about it in a healthy manner.

If you, or someone you care about, are feeling overwhelmed with emotions like sadness, depression, or anxiety, or feel like you want to harm yourself or others, you can:

  • Call 911.

  • Call the Disaster Distress Helpline at 1-800-985-5990, or text TalkWithUs to 66746.

  • Call the National Domestic Violence at 1-800-799-7233 and TTY 1-800-787-3224.

  • Take care of your mental health

  • Call your healthcare provider if stress gets in the way of your daily.

People with preexisting mental health conditions should continue with their treatment and be aware of new or worsening symptoms. Additional information can be found at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Disaster Preparedness.

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