How to Deal with COVID-19 Stress

  • The COVID-19 pandemic continues to overwhelm everyone with the evolving virus variants, surging number of cases, availability and efficacy of vaccines, and new healthcare policies.
  • As the end of the long-standing fight against the coronavirus is far from over, people are beginning to get stressed physically and emotionally.
  • According to one psychologist, there are several ways to cope up with stress and manage your emotional and physical health during this pandemic.

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought many changes to all people. It has also been a worldwide concern due to some emerging information on new virus variants, availability and efficacy of vaccines, flattened curves and spikes of cases, and standard healthcare protocols which have affected most nations. Its effect not only includes the slowing down of the economy, disruption of businesses, work and education, and everyday activities, but it has also greatly affected the physical and emotional health of many individuals.

With the continuing long-term fight against the coronavirus, it is only vital to make your health — which includes your physical, emotional, and mental health — your top priority to be able to handle all the stress brought about by this current condition. Susan Albers, one psychologist, shares some of the ways by which you can prepare yourself to have strong physical and emotional health needed to continue dealing with this pandemic.

1. Understand stress and its cause.

Dr. Albers explains that the body and mind can stand stress for a day, or at most a week, but it is not built to handle something long-term like a pandemic and the stress related to it. Albers adds that humans are creatures of habit, so sudden changes in the work and lifestyle setting that disrupt your daily routine can create stress. When people cannot tolerate stress, it translates into tiredness and fatigue, which could lead to sickness.

2. Be mindful and live in the moment.

Albers says that it is crucial to stay rooted in the present while being mindful of caring for yourself to keep you focused and calm. While it is good to prepare and be ready for the future, it’s more important to do what you can to make yourself healthy and safe. You can start by focusing on a daily routine that can keep you safe from the virus while continuing to enjoy the things that make you happy every day.

3. Spend some time outside.

While there are still restrictions as to where and how long you can go outside, it is still vital to step outside and enjoy nature. Dr. Albers recommends getting enough sunlight because it can help boost your mood and reduce stress hormones. Make sure to still follow safety protocols while doing so.

4. Limit your exposure to news.

Experts advise that it is really helpful to limit and screen the amount of news you see every day. Albers shares that too much information can get you overwhelmed and create fear and panic. Also, the time you watch it can either motivate you or make you fearful. Avoid watching it first thing in the morning or at night right before going to bed. Instead, watch when you are in a good emotional space and in the right moment.

5. Focus on positive things.

Dr. Albers suggests looking at the good things that are happening instead of focusing on the bad effects of the pandemic. Avoid resorting to other things that you think might help you cope. Using drugs, drinking alcohol, and stress eating can temporarily take your mind off bad things, but it can result in more serious problems in the long run, says Albers.

6. Seek professional help.

Chronic stress can turn into depression. Before that happens, Dr. Albers suggests seeking an expert’s help on how to deal with your condition.

Via  Cleveland Clinic