Circumstances caused by the COVID-19 pandemic can feel overwhelming due to constant new information, long hours inside, uprooted schedules, and a lack of social contact. It’s important to pause for a moment and take care of yourself during this stressful time.
It is normal to feel stressed or overwhelmed during uncertain times. Emotions in response to uncertainty may include anxiety, fear, anger, and sadness. You may also feel helpless, discouraged, and occasionally, out of control. Physical responses may include headache, muscle tension, fatigue, and sleeplessness.
Here are a few tips you can use to better care for your well-being:
- Fuel your body by eating a healthy, well-balanced diet and drinking plenty of water. If you are experiencing an eating disorder, seeking help does not become any less important in difficult times. Do not be afraid to reach out for help.
- Aim to get seven to eight hours of sleep each night.
- Get daily exercise that’s medically appropriate for your body and condition.
- Avoid risky or destructive behaviors, such as abusing alcohol or drugs, excessive gambling, or ignoring public health recommendations.
- Spend time outside, such as going for a walk in the park. Make sure to follow social distancing guidelines.
- Set and maintain a routine at home.
- Use technology to maintain social connections with your loved ones. Consider a regular check-in schedule to give you something to look forward to.
- Focus your thoughts on the present.
- Listen to music or read a good book.
- Consume reliable news sources that report facts, and avoid media that sensationalizes emotions. Limit your exposure or take a break from the news and social media if you find that it makes you anxious.
- Look for ways to help your community. Donating blood, checking in or grocery shopping for elderly people in your neighborhood, and/or donating supplies to local organizations are all great ways to serve those around you while still following proper social distancing guidelines.
- Acknowledge and appreciate what others are doing to help you and your community.
Symptoms to Watch For:
If any of these symptoms become persistent or interfere with daily functioning, contact your provider for help and guidance:
- Trouble focusing on daily activities
- Anxiety that turns to feelings of being out of control
- Strong feelings that interfere with daily activities
- Having emotions that become difficult to manage
- Feelings of hopelessness or helplessness
During difficult and uncertain times, it’s so important to prioritize your physical and mental health. Self-care is not selfish, it allows you to be more present in your relationships and serve others because you are taken care of.