Many of us are trying to figure out how to work from home. The kids are out of school and adjusting to a new way of learning. We are separated physically from family and friends. Events you looked forward to have been cancelled or postponed, and the things you're used to doing in your free time may not be an option right now. This is our "new normal," and it comes with heightened levels of stress and anxiety.
It is normal to have questions and struggle with processing your current feelings. Common reactions to stressful situations include:
- Anxiety or fear – Worrying about the health, safety and security of yourself and your loved ones
- Irritability – Becoming easily angry or annoyed, or a feeling of being “on edge”
- Physical reactions – Headaches, upset stomach, or muscle tension
- Difficulty concentrating – Having preoccupied thoughts relating to the virus
- Insomnia – Difficulty sleeping due to constant anxiety and worry
- Information overload – Repeatedly monitoring media and social media for the latest news
Practicing self-care can feel like a balancing act amid all the changes we've experienced, but it's so important to take care of both your physical and emotional well-being.
Here are a few tips for managing your stress and anxiety and reducing some of the unpleasant physical symptoms:
Maintain perspective and remind yourself of the facts. How real is this threat to me right now?
Attempt to follow routine activities as much as possible, as this enhances comfort and predictability.
Talk with friends, family, coworkers or a counselor about your feelings and concerns. Reach out with a phone call or video chat, or schedule a telehealth appointment with a therapist.
Engage in some form of exercise daily. This is very effective in reducing stress. Walk, ride bike, or follow a fitness routine online.
Limit your intake of news related to the coronavirus. Temporarily disconnect from social media.
Do things you enjoy. Make time to let go and engage in positive activities to help care for yourself. This helps give your mind a break and helps to maintain balance.
Relax by using deep breathing, meditation, prayer, or other relaxation techniques that work best for you. Practicing mindfulness can be especially helpful.
Focus on things you have control over by creating an emergency plan, so you and your family will know what to do.
Talk to your children. Discuss news but don’t over-focus on it. Be reassuring. For more advice, read this blog about how to talk to your kids about the coronavirus.
The Village Family Service Center continues to offer mental health counseling, addiction treatment, financial counseling, and other services online or by phone. Call the office nearest you or contact us online for more information.