COVID-19 and Anxiety: 10 Tips for Managing Stress


Coronavirus Stress Munson Healthcare

Staying up all night and worrying about COVID-19 won’t help find a cure. And it won’t help your state of mind. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to help manage escalating stress and anxiety.

1. Detach – If you’re listening to the news about COVID-19 a little too much, and it’s got you feeling overwhelmed, it may be a good idea to try to detach. Stop watching the news, quit scrolling through your favorite sites, and turn off the social media notifications on your phone. 

2. Stay active – Exercise truly does boost the immune system. Not only can it help keep you healthy, it also can also provide emotional relief. Go for a walk, find a great cardio fitness app or  video, or dance in your kitchen.  Whatever gets your heart pumping will help lower your stress and clear your mind.

3. Focus on your breath – Take some time to be still and to calm those nonstop thoughts running through your head. A great way to do this is to simply focus on your breath and get in a meditative state of mindfulness. Deep breathing can lower blood pressure, improve anxiety and depression, and boost concentration and energy.

4. Get a good night’s sleep – Sleep is when we recharge so we can be fully present and ready to take on the day.  Avoid screens for an hour before bed, drink soothing chamomile tea, limit caffeine, and take time for physical activity every day.

5. Experiment with new recipes – With limiting our exposure to groups, this means going to the grocery store less often. Stock up on a few staples and experiment with new recipes. Make it fun! Try this spicy black bean soup from Traverse City’s Dish café.  

6. Get outside – If you’re feeling cramped from staying indoors, don’t forget about the great outdoors. We’re lucky to live in northern Michigan! With the weather beginning to warm up, go for a walk with your dog, play in the yard with your kids, or explore a new hiking trail. Just remember to stay at least six feet away from anyone else you encounter on a trail or sidewalk.

Coronavirus Munson Healthcare Stress

7. Connect with your loved ones – Let the people you care about know you’re there for them, even if you can’t be there in person. This is the perfect time to take advantage of FaceTime, Skype, Google Chat, and other technological tools for making video calls and messaging. In times of social distancing, it’s important to stay connected to friends and family – but from a distance. 

8. Let go – The most frustrating things in life are the things we can’t control. So let go of what you can’t change and focus on what you can. What can you control? Your behaviors and actions, such as your habits, choices, self-talk, and the way you respond to others. 

Coronavirus Stress Self Care Munson Healthcare

9. Have fun – Finding a moment for something enjoyable will help boost your mood. There’s no time like the present, so let’s make the most of it! With fewer social events and gatherings, you have more time to catch up on that book you’ve been meaning to read, the home projects that have gone by the wayside, or that game your kids have been dying for you to play with them.

Coronavirus Self Care Munson Healthcare Stress

10. Do what makes you feel safe – While there are basic precautions everyone is encouraged to take, such as washing your hands and staying home if you’re sick, do what you need to do to feel comfortable and safe. No judgement. 

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