Coping With COVID-19 Stress and Anxiety

Coping With COVID-19 Stress and Anxiety

If you are like most people, you are doing your best to stay calm during COVID-19 pandemic. But that can feel incredibly difficult at times. When not worrying about the health of friends or loved one, there is also the conflicting information provided by the media and the economic ramifications of the virus that have people on edge.

Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations, but most will exhibit some of the following signs:

  • Changes in sleep or eating patterns
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Worsening of chronic health problems
  • Increased use of alcohol, tobacco or other drugs

If you are experiencing significant stress right now, here are some ways you can cope:

1. Limit Media Consumption

Hearing the media constantly spread panic is not good for anyone. It is important to stay rational and do your own research to differentiate facts from fiction as well as stay positive.

2. Nurture Your Body and Spirit

Be sure to get outside for some fresh air and go for a walk. Eat right and make sure to stay hydrated and get plenty of sleep. Avoid consuming too much alcohol and try and find fun ways to reconnect with your family.

3. Tap into Your Sense of Fun

If you have kids, look to them for some good old-fashioned playtime. Play hide and seek in the house. Create an obstacle course in the back yard. Watch some of your favorite funny movies. Laughter really is the best medicine so get plenty of it!

4. Support Your Local Community

Many local businesses are hurting right now. If you are still getting a paycheck, consider buying a gift card from a local restaurant, gym, hair salon, etc. to provide revenue now and for your later use.

5. Be a Role Model

Remember, your kids will look to you first to see how they should be thinking and feeling about something. Move about each day calmly. Provide reassurance when appropriate. Speak openly about the confusing emotions associated with pandemic-related changes.

6. Use Your Time Constructively

For many of us, there is a silver lining in this situation in the form of extra time. What can you do with the extra time that is not being used to drive an hour or more each day in commuting? Focus on using this time wisely. Maybe you have an ever-growing list of home projects that you just never have time to tackle. Tackle them now, you will feel great about it later.

Working with a skilled, experienced psychologist, therapist, or counselor can support adaptive coping with this situation and navigation of the days ahead. If you are interested in therapy to explore these concerns, I invite you to call or email me to get started working together. Telehealth appointments are available.


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