The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak is a significant source of stress in our community and communities around the world. The anxiety and fear associated with the virus can elicit strong emotions that can take a toll on a person’s health. Many people are worried about their own health or the health of a loved one. This can impact sleep patterns, cause difficulty concentrating, and can worsen existing health problems. Additionally, the anxiety and fear associated with the virus can cause people to rely on unhealthy coping mechanisms such as using tobacco, alcohol, or other drugs. Learning how to cope with the stress associated with the virus can help you make yourselves and your loved ones stronger.
Everyone will respond differently to any stressful situation, especially the outbreak of COVID-19. How you respond can be impacted by your background and your community. However, the people who tend to react more strongly to a crisis situation include older people, people with chronic diseases, healthcare workers responding to the crisis, children, teens, and people who suffer from mental health or substance abuse issues. Helping others cope with the stress associated with the COVID-19 outbreak can make yourself and your community stronger.
Take A Break From Stress
During these uncertain times, there are things that you can do to reduce your stress. First, take regular breaks from the news, including social media. Repeatedly hearing or reading about the pandemic can be unsettling. Moreover, don’t forget to take care of your body. Make sure that you are exercising regularly, getting plenty of sleep, and eating healthy, well-balanced meals. Always take time in the day to relax and do something that you enjoy, like talking to a family member or friend. Being separated from others does not mean that you cannot find other ways to connect. Talking with others about your concerns and how you are feeling is an important way to cope with the crisis. Sharing accurate information about COVID-19 and understanding the actual risk it poses to yourself or others can make the outbreak less stressful.
Parents and caregivers are tasked with keeping their young children and teens calm and supported amidst the stress of the outbreak. While all children deal with stressful situations differently, parents should be on the lookout for some common changes. In younger children, stress may cause excessive crying or irritation. Moreover, some children may revert back to behaviors they have outgrown such as bedwetting. Some children may develop unhealthy eating or sleeping habits. For teens, stress can cause irritability or “acting out.” Parents can be reassuring to others around them, including their own children and teens if they are better prepared themselves.
For parents, dealing with the COVID-19 outbreak calmly and confidently can instill the same confidence in their children. Supporting your child during this time can take many forms depending on your child’s age. Parents should talk to their children or teens about the COVID-19 outbreak and answer questions in a way that can be understood for their age group. Limiting your family’s exposure to the news and social media is also helpful. Children and teens may misinterpret facts or be exposed to incorrect information that can lead to unnecessary fear and stress. While keeping a regular routine for children while school is not in session is important, it is also necessary to make time for fun activities too. Always reassure your children and teens that they are safe and that it is normal to feel upset. Share how you deal with your own stress with your children and let them know how you cope during difficult times. Most importantly, be a positive role model for your children and have them learn from your own behavior.
Your Emotional Health
While it’s natural to feel anxiety, stress, and worry during the COVID-19 outbreak, taking care of your emotional health during this time will help you think more clearly and react appropriately to your own needs and the needs of friends and family. Taking care of your emotional health is one of the most important things you can do to effectively deal with the stress of the COVID-19 outbreak. At MyHappyGenes.com, we understand that changing your mood can change your life. We can help you take control of your DNA and successfully break free from anxiety, depression, anxiety and addiction.