Fear and anxiety about a disease can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adults and children. The outbreak of COVID-19 is stressful for almost everyone.
According to the CDC, stress during an infectious disease outbreak can include:
• Fear and worry about your own health and the health of your loved ones
• Changes in sleep or eating patterns
• Difficulty sleeping or concentrating
• Worsening of chronic health problems
• Worsening of mental health conditions
• Increased use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs
It is important to note that everyone reacts differently to stressful situations.
People who may respond more strongly to the stress of a crisis include:
• Older people and people with chronic diseases who are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19
• Children and teens
• Non healthcare essential workers, such as grocery store employees
• People who are helping with the response to COVID-19, such as doctors, other health care providers, and first responders
• People who have mental health conditions including problems with substance use
Ways to cope with stress:
• Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting.
• Take care of your body
• Take deep breaths, stretch, or meditate
• Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals
• Exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep
• Avoid alcohol
• Make time to unwind. Try to do some other activities you enjoy.
• Connect (virtually!) with others. Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling.
Need help? Know someone who does?
If you, or someone you care about, are feeling overwhelmed with emotions like sadness, depression, or anxiety, or feel like you want to harm yourself or others:
Call Call2Talk by dialing 508-532-2255 or text C2T to 741741