If you’re feeling stressed and anxious during these uncertain times, you’re not alone. According to a recent Gallup poll, nearly 60% of Americans reported daily stress and worry due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
While experiencing stress or anxiety over the health and economic fears brought on by COVID-19 is normal, if you don’t take steps to cope with these feelings, you can put yourself at risk for long-term health effects.
Try these tips to keep your COVID-19 stress and anxiety under control:
- Stay informed, but don’t obsess—It can be easy to become overwhelmed by watching the news and reviewing the updates of the COVID-19 situation. While it’s important to be informed of the situation, you should not obsess over the news. For example, instead of monitoring the news all day from home, consider checking for updates once in the morning and once at night.
- Focus on what you can control—Focusing on the things you can’t control, like the course of the pandemic and actions of others, will only fuel anxiety and stress. Instead, focus on things that you have control over, including staying home when possible, washing your hands, wearing a mask and practicing social distancing.
- Be transparent with your boss—If returning to work in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic or working from home is causing stress, reach out to your manager or supervisor. There may be things that your manager can help with to reduce your stress.
- Connect with friends and family—Sometimes, the best way to cope with your stress is to talk to a loved one. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration recommends reaching out to loved ones with technology to reduce feelings of loneliness and anxiety. Leverage technology to safely talk with friends or family during these times.
- Use healthy coping mechanisms—There are a variety of healthy ways to mitigate your stress and anxiety, which include getting exercise, sticking to a routine, spending time outside, practicing gratitude and meditating.
- Talk to a professional—If your stress or anxiety is overwhelming, contact a licensed mental health professional.
The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted daily life and caused stress and anxiety for many. If left unchecked, these feelings can have negative effects on your mental well-being. Take steps today to keep your stress and anxiety under control.