The COVID-19 outbreak may cause fear and anxiety adults and children. Coping with strong emotions and stress will make you, the people you care about, and our community stronger.
Individuals can react differently to a stressful situation. Your response to the COVID-19 outbreak may depend on your background, personal experiences, personality and the community you live in.
Persons 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 COVID-19
- Children and teens
- Health care workers and first responders who are helping with the response to COVID-19
- People with mental health conditions, including problems with substance use
Stress during an infectious disease outbreak can include:
- Worry and fear 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
- Increased use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs
The CDC offers the following suggestions for coping during a disaster such as COVID-19:
Take care of your body– Try to eat healthy well-balanced meals, exercise regularly, and get plenty of sleep. Avoid alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs.
Connect with others– Share your concerns and how you are feeling with a friend or family member. Maintain healthy relationships, and build a strong support system.
Take breaks– Make time to unwind and remind yourself that strong feelings will fade. Try taking in deep breaths. Try to do activities you usually enjoy.
Stay informed– When you feel that you are missing information, you may become more stressed or nervous. Watch, listen to, or read the news for updates from officials. Be aware that there may be rumors during a crisis, especially on social media. Always check your sources and turn to reliable sources of information like your local government authorities.
Avoid too much exposure to news– Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories. It can be upsetting to hear about the crisis and see images repeatedly. Try to do enjoyable activities and return to normal life as much as possible and check for updates between breaks.
Seek help when needed– If distress impacts activities of your daily life for several days or weeks, talk to a clergy member, counselor, or doctor
or contact Center for Family Services at 561-616-1222