Managing Anxiety and Stress
The outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) may be stressful for people. Fear and anxiety about a disease can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions. Managing anxiety and/or stress will make you, the people you care about, and your community stronger.
Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations. How you respond to the outbreak can depend on your background, the things that make you different from other people, and the community you live in.
Taking care of yourself, your friends, and your family can help you cope. Helping others cope with their stress can also make your community stronger.
Things you can do to support yourself and others
Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting.
Be a role model, take breaks, get plenty of sleep, exercise regularly, and eat healthy, well-balanced meals.
Take care of your body, take deep breaths, stretch, or meditate.
Make time to unwind, try to do some activities you enjoy.
Try to keep up with regular routines where you can.
Connect with others, talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling.
You can also access support from trusted online sources, for example:
The mood self-assessment quiz and mental wellbeing audio guides can help you understand how you've been feeling recently and what you can do.
The do’s and don’ts of helping manage a low mood, sadness and depression
6 tips to help you be happier, more in control, and able to cope better with life's ups and downs.
Breathing exercise for stress.
Try practising the APPLE technique from Anxiety UK and visit their website for more advice on relaxation:
Acknowledge: Notice and acknowledge the uncertainty as it comes to mind.
Pause: Don’t react as you normally do. Don’t react at all. Just pause and breath.
Pull back:Tell yourself this is just the worry talking, and this apparent need for certainty is not helpful and not necessary. It is only a thought or feeling. Don’t believe everything you think. Thoughts are not statements or facts.
Let go: Let go of the thought or feeling. It will pass. You don’t have to respond to them. You might imagine them floating away in a bubble or cloud.
Explore: Explore the present moment. Notice your breathing and the sensations of your breathing. Notice the ground beneath you. Look around and notice what you see, what you hear, what you can touch, what you can smell. Right now. Then shift your focus of attention to something else – on what you need to do, on what you were doing before you noticed the worry or do something else – mindfully with your full attention.
If you, or someone you care about, are feeling overwhelmed with emotions like sadness, depression, or anxiety there are a number of places you can turn to for support: