Coping with stress during the Coronavirus pandemic
10 tips to help you cope with stress
- In any crisis, taking small steps to stay in control helps you feel more secure about your own situation. Have a plan. Create a routine and stick to it. Engage in activities that are rewarding, like completing a task or calling up friends. Avoid habits that induce feelings of guilt. Rely on friends and family for support. Be kind to yourself.
- Keep talking. Staying in touch with friends and family, is important at this time. We’re social animals and being deprived of company is stressful. Regular phone calls and emails help us remain in contact to share our experiences and emotions.
- Acknowledge your emotions. Given the current situation, it is normal to feel sad, stressed, confused, scared or angry. Try not to keep your feelings bottled up inside.
- A healthy routine will have a positive impact on your mood. In confinement, plan your meals, get a good night’s sleep and try to exercise indoors or go out for a daily walk.
- Resist stress-induced bad habits: Smoking, eating, and drinking excessively, or relying on other drugs may amplify your stress rather than diffuse it. If you feel overwhelmed, talk to a health worker or counsellor.
- Trust facts. Ignore any information that comes from people who aren’t specialists. Reliable information will help you asses risk and take reasonable precautions. Find a credible source you can trust such as WHO website or, your local public health agency’s guidelines.
- Limit your exposure to the news. Too much information can also create unnecessary stress for you and your family.
- Be sensitive to the emotional needs of others: If you are confined with family members, remember that now is the time to be extra patient, tolerant and thoughtful with regards to their needs. A harmonious household keeps stress at bay.
- We’ve all been through challenging experiences before. Though this situation is unparalleled for most of us, the skills and strengths that have helped you overcome difficulties in the past, will help you get through the current crisis.
- Keep phone numbers of health professionals and counsellors at hand, in case you need support.
Based on WHO recommendations: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public