Change is stressful, and stress leads to anxiety, negative affect mental and physical health. And while sheltering in place that serves the public, it can affect our mental health.
“Worrying is a normal human response to change or challenge. It is important during these uncertain times to understand the difference between the expected reaction of stress and elevate the level of difficulty that may trigger episodes of depression or anxiety disorders, “. “Take time for self-care personal help us to keep perspective and prevent fears from becoming more serious.”
Know the signs of stress
- Abuse of alcohol, tobacco, medications or illegal drugs
- Avoidance of favorite activities
- Behavioral regression like toileting accidents or bedwetting
- Changes in eating or sleeping habits
- Difficulty with attention and concentration
- Excessive crying or irritation in children
- Excessive worry or sadness
- Increased heart rate
- Irritability and “acting out” behaviors in teens
- Stomach and digestion problems
- Unexplained headaches or body pain
Manage your stress
Strategies for dealing with stress:
- Find hobbies or activities you enjoy. Plan something small each day to look forward to.
- Interrupt negative thought patterns that cause distress. Instead, focus on what you can do to make this situation better.
- Listen to your body. Take deep breaths, stretch or take a moment to relax. Focus on eating healthy, well-balanced meals, getting regular exercise and sleep and avoiding alcohol or mood-altering drugs.
- Limit exposure to news coverage, including social media. This goes double for children. They may misinterpret and become frightened about something they don’t understand.
- Maintain regular routines. Create a schedule for learning activities, relaxation, and fun.
- Talk to trusted people about your concerns and feelings. Use your phone or safe internet means to connect with others in a positive way.
- Talk about the COVID-19 outbreak – answer questions and share facts.
- Spend your time with kids and manage your stress after playing games.