Feeling Stressed and Isolated Over COVID-19?

Know you are not alone.

Try some of these suggestions to help manage anxiety and loneliness.

The coronavirus dominates the news. Turn on any news program, browse the internet, read a newspaper, or listen to the radio—chances are high that the main story of the day is COVID-19.

We’re bombarded. We hear “pandemic” and see maps highlighting the spread of the disease. No wonder so many people are worried. On top of this, we’re told to stay at home. Caution is wise, and having a plan can lower your anxiety level.

Being cut off from family and friends can take its toll both mentally and physically. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, being socially apart from others can lead to depression. To combat this, try the following:

  • Take breaks from the news. Although it’s important to stay informed, overload can take its toll on your mental health.
  • Limit your time on social media sites, which have an overabundance of COVID-19 stories, not all of which are factual.
  • Acknowledge feelings of loneliness, sadness, frustration or depression.
  • If you feel overwhelmed, talk to someone you trust.
  • Take breaks. Give your dog some exercise or go for a walk. Just make sure you follow the rule of keeping a distance of six feet away from others.
  • Call or video chat friends. Technology allows you to stay connected while staying apart.
  • Host a virtual book club. Invite friends to read a book and discuss in a video chat.
  • Prepare a virtual dinner. Ask friends to make a dish and share the recipe.
  • Make sure you get some exercise. According to a study in the journal Frontiers in Psychiatry, physical exercise can reduce depression. You can exercise at home. Put on music and dance. If you prefer, watch and follow along with an exercise video. You can also invite friends virtually via video chat to join you.

Check-In on a Friend

According to the National Institute on Aging, older adults can be especially vulnerable to loneliness. Call and ask if they need anything. The same advice applies to people with disabilities and special needs.

Limit your time shopping and socializing. If you run any errands for someone in need, observe the six-feet-of-separation rule.

 

Sources: cdc.gov, nih.gov, nih.gov