Taking care of yourself during stressful times
After almost two years, COVID-19 continues to impact our lives. Many of us face challenges that are stressful and overwhelming. With COVID-19 cases, there are necessary public health actions, such as social distancing. This can make us feel more isolated and lonely, which can make us more stressed.
What is the impact of stress?
It is natural to feel stressed, especially during a pandemic. Since stress impacts us all differently, there are various was that it can affect our physical and mental health:
- Feelings of fear, anger, sadness, worry, numbness, or frustration
- Changes in appetite, energy, desires, and interests
- Difficulty sleeping or nightmares
- Physical reactions, such headaches, body pains, stomach problems, and skin rashes
- Worsening or chronic and mental health conditions
- Increase use of tobacco, alcohol, and other substance
What are self-care strategies for dealing with stress during the pandemic?
It’s okay to feel stressed. However, it is important to practice self-care to take care of yourself and deal with stress. Here are five ways that you can take care of yourself:
- Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to the news (including social media)
- Take care of your body by exercising regularly, getting plenty of sleep, avoiding excessive alcohol, and other substances
- Make time to unwind and do some activities that you enjoy
- Connect with others
- Connect with community or faith-based organizations
For other self-care ideas, check out Self-Care and Why It Is Important.
If stress continues to impact your daily life, don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for help. Getting support from a mental health professional or someone you trust is also self-care.
How can I help others deal with stress during the pandemic?
Taking care of yourself is the best way you can help others. If you can’t take care of yourself, you can’t be there for your friends and family. However, other ways that you can help your friends and family may include:
- Staying connected, especially since people are more likely to feel isolated and lonely right now
- Offering support and resources if someone you know is struggling with their mental health
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, so can our stress which can leave us feeling overwhelmed. Feeling stressed is normal, but it can impact our daily life. It is important to remember to take care of ourselves. If you need immediate help, don’t wait. Reach out and connect with a help line, like the Crisis Text Line (text HOME to 741741) or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255), or find a healthcare provider near you.