For most of us, the stress of COVID-19 has made our daily activities and routines quite challenging. It would not be wrong to say that it has turned everything upside down. This disruption of everything has created intense anxiety, nervousness, fear, and stress in many people. They are frightened of losing their loved ones. People are afraid of isolation and worried about the loss of their incomes. They are scared of running out of the necessary supplies. They are concerned about their health and wellness. Children are caught up with the stress of being isolated and losing friends.
Reducing Stress During COVID-19
Everyone responds to these situations differently, but there are a few tips to help get through the stress during COVID-19:
Avoid news outlets and social media sites which spread rumors and promote fear. Keep yourself informed via trusted sources only. Get reliable and accurate information. Stay positive and spread positivity.
Get A Goal
Make a conscious effort to select a new goal for yourself, work towards learning a new skill, helping others, and spreading kindness. Achieving a preset goal brings mental satisfaction and peace. A sense of achievement and accomplishment brings happiness and reduces anxiety levels.
Surround Yourself with Nature
Surround yourself with the beauty of nature. Visit parks and get some nature walks regularly. Natural environments lower the stress levels and relax the mind. Find a park near you or plan your next adventure using the National Park Trip Planning Kit.
Give Up Bad Habits
Stop smoking, drinking excessive alcohol and caffeine, try to curb all other bad habits that increase the blood pressure. High blood pressure can elevate stress and anxiety levels.
Get Some Physical Activity
Physical activities like Yoga, meditation, and exercise can relieve physical and mental stress. It improves your core strength and offers physical benefits. Indulge in meditation or stick to any other physical activity which brings you happiness and joy.
Help people in need during these difficult times, but continue to remain aware of social distancing. Always wear your face mask in public. If possible, get the necessary supplies, groceries, or medicines to those at an increased risk of severe illness. Keep track of those in need around you; spread kindness and take care of those around you as best as you can. Helping others will bring you mental peace and ultimately decrease your anxiety.
Stay connected with your friends and family. Do not hesitate to get in touch with your loved ones. Make regular video calls and communicate through social media. Communicating with your loved ones will definitely make you happier and reduce your stress levels.
Sleep doesn’t get enough credit! Adequate sleep increases your body’s immunity and helps in reducing anxiety. Try to sleep for at least seven to eight hours every night. Ensure a good night’s sleep by following sleep hygiene protocols, such as limit screen time before bed, limiting caffeine, turn off all lights while sleeping, etc.
Eating a healthy and balanced diet can also help lower your stress. Eat nutrient-rich food, and ensure you enjoy your meals. Try to avoid junk food during such times, as it can gradually lead to higher stress levels over time in the absence of exercise and outdoor activities. Try cooking healthy meals at home. You’ll not only engage yourself in a fun activity but also build a healthy routine that will help draw your mind away from stressful thoughts. Cooking at home doesn’t have to mean blowing your budget; Budget Bytes is an excellent site dedicated to stretching your dollars while eating incredibly well.
Take Care of Your Mental Health
An essential part of overall health and wellbeing is mental health. It influences how we think, feel, and behave. It can also affect how we deal with stress, connect with others, and make decisions during an emergency. The added stress of COVID-19 compounds the vulnerabilities felt by some even before the pandemic began.
In an emergency, people with mental illness or substance abuse may be particularly vulnerable. Call your healthcare provider if you believe you have new or worsening symptoms. Anyone in a crisis can also text HOME to 741741 to reach a Crisis Counselor at the Crisis Text Line. This hotline is for ANYONE experiencing any painful emotion at any time you need support.
Get Immediate Help in a Crisis
- Call 911
- Disaster Distress Helpline: 1-800-985-5990 (press 2 for Spanish), or text TalkWithUs for English or Hablanos for Spanish to 66746.
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255) for English, 1-888-628-9454 for Spanish, or Lifeline Crisis Chat
- National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233 or text LOVEIS to 22522
- National Child Abuse Hotline: 1-800-4AChild (1-800-422-4453) or text 1-800-422-4453
- National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) or Online Chat
- The Eldercare Locator: 1-800-677-1116 TTY Instructions
- Veteran’s Crisis Line: 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or Crisis Chat or text: 8388255
Find treatment or a health care provider
- SAMHSA’s National Helpline: 1-800-662-HELP (4357) and TTY 1-800-487-4889
- Treatment Services Locator Website
- Interactive Map of Selected Federally Qualified Health Centers
Additional Reading on COVID-19:
What is the Relationship Between COVID-19 and Heart Damage?