How to Cope with Coronavirus Stress

How to Cope with Coronavirus Stress

It is natural to feel anxious and worried about the Coronavirus as the world has not seen a pandemic like this in centuries. However, taking care of your mental health is equally important and here are a few quick tips to cope with Coronavirus stress:

Acknowledge your feelings:
The first step to cope with Coronavirus stress is to regain control by recognizing your feelings. Be kind to yourself and validate. It is OK to feel what you are feeling. Fear and anxiety are normal responses to this situation and help us to take necessary actions for our safety.  These responses become unhelpful when they turn into panic and lead us to actions that don’t benefit us.

Seek information from credible sources:
Facts minimize fears. Seek out information from credible sources such as WHO, CDC, Health Canada, etc. about Coronavirus and how to protect yourself and others.

Focus on what you can control:
Ruminating on what you cannot do and control exacerbates the fear and anxiety. Instead, focus on what you can do such as social distancing, hand hygiene, staying connected with loved ones virtually, and preparing a realistic list of supplies if you are quarantined.

Digital fasting:
While it is important to be informed about the Coronavirus, receiving constant news alerts and social media updates about the pandemic amplifies the anxiety and fear. Limit the use of technology, turn off unnecessary alerts and notifications, and take time off from checking Coronavirus news.

Maintain routines:
If you are working from home, try to maintain some daily routines to structure your day. This includes dedicating a set time and location in the house for work, changing into work/outside clothes during the working hours, eating regular meals, and sleeping on time. Include self-care and leisure activities during the day that can lift your mood.

Coronavirus stress could affect your sleep cycle and trigger overwhelming thoughts and feelings. Try to maintain a bedtime routine that soothes your mind and body such as hot bath, herbal sleep tea or mindfulness practice to get adequate sleep every night.

Eat healthy and stay physically active:
Eat a healthy diet as it can reduce the negative effects of stress on your body as well as help build your immunity. Similarly, staying active (going out for a walk or keeping a workout routine at home) is very important to eliminate some of the mental stress.

Stay connected with your loved ones:
Continue practicing “physical distancing” but stay virtually connected with your family, friends, and support networks. Speak to your loved ones using video calling apps or phone calls to manage isolation. Talk about non-Coronavirus topics deliberately and engage in conversations that can brighten your mood.

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