Managing COVID-19 stress

Published 10:14 am Wednesday, April 15, 2020

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The Centers for Disease Control offers the following advice to people under a Stay At Home Order:

Dealing with stress reactions caused by the COVID-19 virus outbreak can improve your health, quality of life, and wellbeing. The following evidence-informed principles have been shown to be related to better outcomes in many adverse situations.

Cultivate Ways to be More Calm

  • Realize that it is understandable to feel anxious and worried about what may happen, especially when many aspects of life are being affected.
  • If you find that you are getting more stressed by watching the news, reduce your exposure, particularly prior to sleep.
  • While circumstances may be stressful and beyond your control, you can try to offset them with positive calming activities. Practice slow, steady breathing and muscle relaxation, as well as any other actions that are calming for you (exercise, music, keeping the mind occupied).

Remain Hopeful

  • Draw upon your spirituality, those who inspire you, or your personal beliefs and values.
  • Consider the stressful situation in a broader context and keep a long-term perspective.
  • Look for opportunities to practice being more patient or kind with yourself, or to see the situation as an opportunity to learn or build strengths.
  • Celebrate successes, find things to be grateful about, and take satisfaction in completing tasks, even small ones.
  • Give yourself small breaks from the stress of the situation by doing something you enjoy.