Coping with Stress During Covid-19

It can be difficult coping with stress during the COVID-19 pandemic. Older people and people of any age who have serious underlying health conditions are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19. People who may have issues getting assistance if they become ill, like those experiencing homelessness or people with disabilities are also at an increased risk from COVID-19.

These conditions and situations may result in increased stress during this pandemic. Fear and anxiety can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions.

Things you can do to support yourself:

  • Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories and social media. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting.
  • Make time to unwind. Try to do some other activities you enjoy.
  • Connect with others. Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling
  • While circumstances may be stressful and beyond your control, you can try to offset them with positive calming activities. Practice slow, steady breathing and muscle relaxation, as well as any other actions that are calming for you (yoga, exercise, music, keeping the mind occupied).
  • Call your healthcare provider if stress gets in the way of your daily activities for several days in a row
  • 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 your healthcare provider.
  • Be flexible and creative in accessing support via phone, email, text messaging, and video calls.
  • Consider the stressful situation in a broader context and keep a long-term perspective.
  • Look for opportunities to practice being more patient or kind with yourself, or to see the situation as an opportunity to learn or build strengths.
  • Celebrate successes, find things to be grateful about, and take satisfaction in completing tasks, even small ones.
  • Give yourself small breaks from the stress of the situation by doing something you enjoy.
  • Draw upon your spirituality, those who inspire you, or your personal beliefs and values.
  • Embrace the “new normal” in the best way you can.