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HANDLING STRESS AND WORRY WITH THE CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK

By Jackie Bender

Reports about the coronavirus (COVID-19) are taking over news channels and social media feeds, causing widespread concern, fear, and stress.  You may have noticed with this outbreak; you find yourself feeling a bit confused, frustrated, scared, or on edge.  This is due to the uncertainty and lack of control that comes with situations like this.  In order to stay healthy and keep our stress levels to a minimum, it’s our job right now to focus on what we CAN control. Mental health and stamina are important!

Control the Controllable

1.  News & Social Media

a.       Get your facts and information from reliable sources, like the CDC. Media taglines and titles are designed to grab your attention for views so be sure to only consume legitimate content. Speculating, guessing, or listening to unreliable sources will only cause unnecessary worry.  If you feel like this is consuming you, take a media break.

2.  Take Care of Yourself

a.       Get plenty of sleep. Drink your water. Exercise. Eat healthy foods. Get outside in nature- even if you are avoiding crowds.

b.       If you feel stressed:  Listen to music, practice deep breathing, meditate, go for a walk, call a friend or do something fun. Remember, higher stress levels will weaken the immune system. Helpful resources are linked below. 

c.       If you are feeling overwhelmed with stress and unable to function normally, seek help from your doctor or mental health provider.

3. Use Common Sense

a.       Wash your hands & practice good hygiene

b.    Follow recommendations from the CDC & focus on the facts, not the “what if” scenarios

c.       Stay home if you don’t feel well

d.       Use hand sanitizer if you are unable to wash our hands (ex: after pumping gas or grocery shopping) 

e.       Keep common areas clean (workspaces, handles/knobs, tables, kitchens, bathrooms) 

Most importantly, stay connected and reach out if you need more support. Talk to trusted friends about how you are feeling and stay present in the present. Engage in mindful activities to help stay grounded when things feel beyond your control. We are in this together and help is always available.

Helpful Resources:

The Calm App - https://www.calm.com/
Headspace App - https://www.headspace.com/
Tension Headache Relief: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7JenCUTlb80
Deep Breathing Exercise - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EYQsRBNYdPk
Desk Exercises & Stretches - https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLNF7zirKOJQkJir61oeakMNjmAN7yF4di

Resources:

CDC – https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/coping.html
APA – https://www.apa.org/helpcenter/pandemics

You can also check in with your state health department online to find up to date information in your local area.  

Tags: MyAdvisor

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