COVID-19 is on everyone’s radar. It’s completely understandable if you are experiencing stress or nervousness due to the current situation. It’s important that we try to reduce our stress level to keep ourselves healthy. While none of us should ignore the COVID-19 outbreak, there are measures everyone can take to help lessen the anxiety.
Here are some things you can do to take a step back and calm your nerves:
• Avoid excessive exposure to the media coverage. Consider taking some time off from conventional and social media. You may also consider deactivating your social media accounts temporarily, asking your friends to text, email, or call instead. It’s good to stay informed but the large amount of information can be overwhelming.
• Take time for stress relief. With the time you would normally spend online, you can practice meditation, take a walk, do some backyard yoga or other exercise, or indulge in a relaxing craft project. Relieving stress can be as simple as taking a bath or watching a comedy. It’s not only OK to make time for yourself, but it’s also necessary to manage anxiety.
• Reach out to family and friends. Social distancing may leave many people feeling disconnected, but we can all still keep in touch. Take time to reach out and chat with family and friends via phone or video chat. We all share the experience of living in these unique circumstances. Let’s take advantage of our time at home to reconnect with others.
• Be prepared but don’t overstock. Don’t stress if you haven’t stocked up on toilet paper, hand sanitizer, and food. Grocery stores are restocking. When you do shop, only buy enough supplies to get through a two-week quarantine.
The COVID-19 outbreak measures being taken are unprecedented in modern U.S. history. Even the calmest people may become stressed. But it’s up to each of us to do what we can to lessen anxiety, stay as healthy as possible, and practice self-care.
Angela Guerra is a family medicine doctor at the Kelsey-Seybold Clinic in Baytown.