We are familiar with viruses like the common cold and the flu, the coronavirus (COVID-19) is new and presents a situation that none of us could have imagined a few short months ago. The outbreak of COVID-19 may be stressful for people. Fear and anxiety about a disease can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adults and children. It is important now than ever to pay attention to your mental health and learn to cope with this stress to make you, the people you care about, and your community stronger.
While some aspects of your life may seem out of your control right now, remember there are things you can control such as: your mind and body by maintaining self-care, personal hygiene, and your mental health; your immediate environment by cleaning your closet, making responsible choices about when to leave the house, and limiting contact with others; and what you consume by only reading reliable sources such as CDC articles or watching videos that make you feel good.
Focusing on all these things will provide you with some comfort because taking care of yourself can help you cope with stress. According to the Centers for Disease Control, here are some other ways to cope with stress:
- Take breaks from news stories, including social media.
- Take care of your body by eating well-balanced meals, exercising, getting plenty of sleep, avoiding alcohol and drugs.
- Take time to do other activities you enjoy.
- Connect with others often to help feel less lonely and isolated.
If you’re taking steps to manage your stress but it still seems to be getting in the way of your daily activities, call your healthcare provider. People with preexisting mental health conditions should continue with their treatment and be aware of new or worsening symptoms.
Additional resources include a mental health screening and crisis hotlines and textlines. If you feel like you are struggling with your mental health, visit mhascreening.org to check your symptoms. It’s free, private, and anonymous and you’ll receive information based on your results to help you start to feel better. If you are experiencing emotional distress due to COVID-19, crisis counselors are available 24/7, 365 days a year by calling 1-800-985-5990 or texting “TalkWithUs” to 66746.
Submitted by: Burnett Medical Center
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