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Managing Stress & Anxiety During COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has many of us at home, wondering when life will return to normal with feelings of stress and anxiety affecting more and more people.

According to The American Institute of Stress, some signs and symptoms of stress and anxiety include:

  • Headaches
  • Lethargy
  • Digestive issues
  • Loss of appetite 
  • Nervousness and restlessness
  • Feelings of danger or dread 
  • Insomnia

Effectively coping with stress and anxiety is essential for your mental, emotional, and physical well-being. Here are some ways to manage your stress and anxiety as recommended by the CDC:

Take care of your body

It’s important to make time for self-care each day. Focusing on your own well-being is important when combatting feelings of stress or anxiety. Daily activities that you can do to help maintain your overall health include:

  • Meditation or deep breathing 
  • Stretching and exercise
  • Getting enough sleep
  • Avoiding alcohol or drugs

Remember to take regular breaks from the news as well. While it’s important to stay informed, keeping up with every news update can lead to more stress, which can negatively impact your health.

Make time for activities you enjoy

Take a break from your daily routine and make time for activities you enjoy. Hobbies are great  outlets for stress and provide something fun to look forward to after a long day. It’s a way to take a break with purpose, helping people feel productive during a short period of downtime. 

According to a research study conducted by health psychologist Matthew Zawadzki, engaging in a mentally-stimulating activity provides immediate stress relief.

Try activities like reading books, watching movies, listening to music, playing video games, and more. Consider what activities you like to do and schedule some time for them, or check out 24 Hobbies to Help Relieve Stress.

Connect with others

Social distancing can easily lead to feelings of isolation since you’re spending your time away from friends and family. According to Ian Hickie at the University of Sydney’s Brain and Mind Centre, “Prolonged quarantine or social isolation (without compensatory methods in place) will exacerbate anxiety, depression and a sense of helplessness.”

It’s important to stay connected with our friends and loved ones! Some ways you can connect with others without in-person contact include:

  • Calling friends and family
  • Hosting a virtual hangout over an online conference platform (For ex., Facetime, Zoom, Skype or Google Meet)
  • Playing online games with others

Check out 40 Ways to Stay Social During the Coronavirus Quarantine for more unique ideas for staying connected during this time.

If feelings of stress and anxiety are getting in the way of your daily routine, call the team at Dopson Family Medical Center at 904-259-7815. We’re here to answer any questions you may have about managing your mental health and on what we’re doing for the current COVID-19 situation.