managing anxiety

 

Dear Stevenson family,

2020 has turned out to be much different than most (if not all) would have expected. As more information about Coronavirus unfolds, a wide range of thoughts, feelings, and reactions may appear. Below are some information and resources that we hope will be helpful.

Common Reactions

Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations. How you respond to the outbreak can depend on your background, the things that make you different form other people, and the community you live in.

· Fear and worry about your own health and the health of your loved ones

· Stress about leaving the house for essential reasons

· Changes in sleep or eating patterns

· Difficulty sleeping or concentrating

· Worsening of chronic health problems

· Increased use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drug1

Ways to Support Yourself

Taking care of yourself, your friends, and your family can help you cope with stress.

· Stay informed with accurate information from a reputable source by checking the dedicated CDC website.

· Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting.1

· Stay healthy. Adopt healthy hygienic habits such as washing your hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, frequently, and certainly after sneezing or before/after touching your face or a sick person.2 Remember that social distancing is not just for those who have an underlying medical condition or seniors.

· Take care of your body. Take deep breaths, stretch, or meditate. Eat healthy, well-balanced meals, exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep, and avoid alcohol and drugs.1

· Practice mindful thankfulness. Daily journaling has been shown to improve your mental well-being.3 The Mayo Clinic Health System has created a four-week virtual program to discover gratitude that begins on March 30 to May 1st. Click here for the link.

· Connect with others. Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling.1

· Call your healthcare provider if stress gets in the way of your daily activities for several days in a row.

· People with preexisting mental health conditions should continue with their treatment and be aware of new or worsening symptoms.

· Be mindful of your assumptions about others. Someone with a cough or a fever does not necessarily have coronavirus. Self-awareness is important in not stigmatizing others in our community.2

· Keep your expectations low and be kind to yourself. Not every day will be a good day. For example, if it is raining, dark and gloomy outside, your mood may be affected. If you find that you’re feeling down multiple days in a row regardless of the weather outside, then refer to your healthcare provider.

Click here for more self-care suggestions!

Stay Positive!

 

By: Sudin Thomas, MSN, FNP-BC

 

References

1 Center for Disease Control and Prevention. (2020). Stress and coping. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/managing-stress-anxiety.html

2 University Health Services Tang Center. (2020). Managing fears and anxiety around Coronavirus. Retrieved from https://uhs.berkeley.edu/sites/default/files/fearsanxiety-coronavirus.pdf

3 Mayo Clinic Health System. (2020). Discover gratitude. Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinichealthsystem.org/gratitude