We are living in trying times. I intend to share a blog post over the next few days to offer some tips on how to navigate the current realities related to COVID-19. Daily life is changing rapidly and dramatically for many of us. You or your loved ones may be experiencing strong emotions (e.g., fear, anxiety, frustration) related to health threats and social and economic consequences of COVID-19. There are steps you can take to lessen such stress both in the short-and long-term. Please note that these are broad recommendations based on questions commonly asked. They are not intended to be comprehensive, and do not replace medical advice or public health guidance. If you or a loved one is concerned about COVID-19 infection or exposure, speak to your primary care provider about testing and additional precautions for your family. You may also benefit from additional mental health support and guidance.
Helpful ways to manage stress include:
- Realize that it is understandable to feel anxious and worried about what may happen, especially when many aspects of life are uncertain or have changed.
- Make time to unwind and remind yourself that strong feelings are tolerable and will fade.
- Accept, instead of suppress emotions, and “ride the wave” of strong feelings by observing how they show up in your body without judgment.
- If you find that you are getting stressed by watching the news, reduce your exposure, particularly prior to sleep.
- Pace yourself between stressful activities, and do something fun after a hard task.
- Relax your body and mind: practice slow, steady breathing and muscle relaxation, as well as any other soothing actions (meditation, yoga, exercise, walking, music, reading for pleasure).
- Maintain a sense of hope; consider keeping a journal where you write down things you are grateful for or that are going well.
- Engage in and savor pleasant activities (search online for lists of pleasant activities within your budget that can be done at home).
Until tomorrow, Keep Calm and Carry On.