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Ways to cope with stress and anxiety during the COVID-19 outbreak

Posted on Mar. 19, 2020 ( comments)

The outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) may be stressful for people. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Association (SAMSHA) offers helpful ways to cope with stress and anxiety during an infectious disease outbreak like COVID-19. Engage in any or all of these practices to stay healthy and safe while maintaining social distancing.

Shift perspective

Set a limit on your media intake regarding information about the outbreak. You will want to stay updated regarding the status of COVID-19, but make sure to take time to focus on positive things happening in your life, specifically those you can control.

Get the facts

Make sure you are accessing resources that you can rely on for accurate information. Learn about the outbreak and ways you can protect yourself and others.

Visit the MultiCare COVID-19 Resource Center for information and resources.

Keep yourself healthy

In addition to following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines to keep yourself safe from COVID-19:

  • Eat healthy foods and drink lots of water
  • Engage in physical exercise
  • Get plenty of sleep and rest
  • Avoid excess amounts of caffeine and alcohol

Incorporate relaxation into your daily routine

  • Relax your body often by doing things that work for you: stretching, deep breaths, meditation, hobbies and more.
  • When you’ve completed a hard task, reward yourself by engaging in something fun.
  • Use this time at home to relax. Eat a good meal, listen to music, read a book.
  • Talk with loved ones openly about how you are feeling, often.

Be mindful of your body and feelings

  • Understand that being stressed, depressed, guilty or angry is common during an infectious disease outbreak even when it is not a direct threat to you.
  • Connect with others who are feeling similarly and express those feelings.
  • Take time to relax and remain calm through meditation, helping others, or whatever works best for you.

If you are experiencing a behavioral health crisis, please look to these local and national resources for help.

Washington State Health Care Authority offers crisis lines that are specific to the county in which you live.

SAMHSA National Helpline

Toll-Free: 1-800-662-HELP (24/7/365 Treatment Referral Information Service in English and español)

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Toll-Free: 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255)

Toll-Free (español): 1-888-628-9454 TTY: 1-800-799-4TTY (1-800-799-4889)

Ayuda En Español

Crisis Text Line

Text CONNECT to 741741 from anywhere in the USA, anytime, about any type of crisis

About The Author

MultiCare Health System
MultiCare is a not-for-profit health care organization with more than 18,000 team members, including employees, providers and volunteers. Learn more. More stories by this author
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