In the wake of the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak, many people may feel anxiety or stress. Handling strong emotions is a normal response, according to Wellstar health experts.
“Things are changing very rapidly,” says Dr. Chirag Patel, Wellstar Medical Director of Population Health. “This virus is new, and Wellstar has been preparing and taking care of the communities we serve. We also encourage people to take care of themselves physically and mentally.”
According to the CDC, reactions during the outbreak can include:
- Fear and worry about your health status and that of your loved ones who may have been exposed to COVID-19.
- Changes in sleep or eating patterns.
- Difficulty sleeping or concentrating.
- Worsening of chronic health problems. Increased use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs.
Figuring out ways to cope with anxiety and stress can help you, your loved ones and your community. If stress begins to interfere with your daily life, reach out to your healthcare provider.
Here are some helpful coping tips:
- Avoid excessive exposure to media coverage of COVID-19.
- Take care of your body. Take deep breaths, stretch or meditate. Eat healthy, well-balanced meals, exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep and avoid alcohol and drugs.
- Make time to unwind and remind yourself that strong feelings will fade. 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 some other activities you enjoy to return to your healthy life.
- Connect with others. Share your concerns and how you are feeling with a friend or family member. Maintain healthy relationships.
- Maintain a sense of hope and positive thinking.
For more information, please see the CDC's website on managing stress in children, adults and medical caregivers.