Stress levels are on the rise as concerns are growing in light of COVID-19. Taking care of yourself and supporting others is crucial for coping, and strengthening as a community during stressful events.
Important Ways to Cope with Stress
#1 – Take breaks.
Take breaks from reading news stories, social media and news broadcasts. It can be helpful to stay informed to an extent. But constantly hearing about the pandemic can cause unnecessary panic and worry.
#2 – Make time for activities you enjoy.
Allow time for activities you enjoy that will ease your mind. Activities like reading a book, doing a puzzle, going for a walk, or meditating will give your mind something else to focus on.
#3 – Practice guided meditation.
Ease mental tension with guided meditations using apps like Insight Timer, Head Space, or Calm. A regular meditation practice helps with reducing anxiety, worry and stress. It also results in better sleep and improves resilience against uncertainty and adversity. See attached for more information and use this link to receive one free month of Calm Premium.
#4 – Eat a balanced diet.
Stay healthy by eating well balanced meals. Avoid alcohol, especially as a means for dealing with stress.
#5 – Move your body.
Exercising, walking outside and practicing yoga are all great ways to stay active, improve your mood and reduce stress. Home fitness is more accessible than ever with Youtube, social media, and apps. Some gyms that have closed in response to COVID-19 are even live streaming workouts on Facebook.
#6 – Stay connected to others virtually.
In this time of social isolation, stay connected with others virtually. Talk with loved ones about how you are feeling and be gentle with yourself. Reach out to others and provide emotional support as well.
Ask for Help if You Need It
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: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA’s) Disaster Distress Helpline: 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746. (TTY 1-800-846-8517).
About Tori Price, ACSM-EP
Tori is an Education Specialist with WakeMed Corporate & Community Health. She is also a ACSM Certified Exercise Physiologist (ACSM-EP).