Coping with stress amid COVID-19 pandemic

Published 7:01 am Thursday, March 26, 2020

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By Karlee Steffani

The impacts of COVID-19 are widespread. As the world continues to change — oftentimes on a daily basis — emotional reactions such as fear and uncertainty are common. If you’re experiencing increased stress and anxiety in conjunction with the looming COVID-19 threat, here are a few ways to cope:

Health and wellness

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Do your part to prevent the spread of coronavirus and to protect yourself and your loved ones by practicing basic health safety precautions. According to the Minnesota Department of Health, this includes “washing your hands thoroughly with soap and water, covering your cough and staying home if you are sick.”

The Department of Health also suggests trying to maintain some semblance of normalcy in your daily routine. From healthy eating and at-home exercise to calming tools such as deep breathing, visualization and muscle relaxation, there are various ways to take your mind away from the chaos and into a state of calm.

Limit exposure and connect

While it is important to remain up-to-date on the latest news and updates regarding the current state of emergency, The Department of Health states that overdoing it can keep people in a heightened state of stress.

Limit time spent researching, scrolling social media and viewing information related to the coronavirus pandemic. Instead, it may be beneficial to spend time focusing on aspects of life that bring you joy and happiness. This period of encouraged seclusion also serves as a perfect opportunity to reach out to loved ones you may normally not have time to connect with.

Focus on what you can control

With businesses and restaurants closing their doors, and many social events being canceled and postponed, various aspects of this situation simply are beyond our control. In the midst of uncertainty, in the days and weeks to come it can be helpful to turn your attention toward things that are within your control.

Whether it’s washing your hands or scouring Pinterest for creative indoor activities to do with your children, do your best to keep things simple and remain optimistic.