The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has spread hysteria and panic across the world. This unavoidable surge of fear and anxiety can affect many emotions in adults and children. Properly coping with your emotions during a charged time will make you a stronger individual for yourself and family during these uncertain times.
In any stressful situation, everyone reacts differently. The outbreak of this virus is no different. Personality, background and community can all affect your behavior. Those who may respond stronger to the stress of a crisis are:
· Elderly with chronic diseases making them a higher risk
· COVID-19 first responders
· Those with previous mental conditions, i.e. substance abuse
Common stressors and anxieties during an outbreak may include:
· Changes to sleeping/eating patterns
· Fear for self/family safety
· Difficulty focusing
· Increased drug/substance use
To help combat your stress during this uncertain time, it’s important to focus on caring and maintaining for your mental health. To help distract yourself or calm your mind, try:
· Communicate: talk with others about your concerns and listen to theirs.
· Detach: take social media/TV breaks to upset yourself less by the news.
· Health: focus on stretching, meditating, doing a face mask or anything you feel you usually don’t have the time to do for your body.
· Unwind: do activities that slow you down. Puzzles, mind games and anything that involves critical thinking are great distractors.
Reduce stress for yourself and others. Educating yourself about the COVID-19 outbreak and understanding the actual risk to yourself and loved ones can make an outbreak less stressful for all involved in and out of your quarantine.