- Sia Minhas
Fighting COVID-19 Stress
By: Sia Minhas, Contributing Writer
COVID-19 has been around for almost a year. Our world has been rocked with crises and vies for change. These historical moments have redefined our society and our communities. Coping with unforeseen change can be tough for anyone. Death, illness, uncertainty, separation, and more factors can severely increase stress and anxiety. Coping with stress and anxiety during these times can be tough but these tips from the CDC can help combat these mental health issues.
The CDC’s Tips
Stress can cause many other issues to our health, both mentally and physically. The CDC cites physical pains, rashes, worsening of mental health conditions, worsening of chronic physical conditions, difficulty sleeping, and changes in appetite, desires, interests, and energy to name a few results of stress. It is important to recognize that your stress deserves to be addressed and putting your mental health on the back burner can worsen your overall health even more. The CDC encourages that people take breaks from the media. That includes social media, television, newspapers, and listening to people discuss the pandemic or other issues in the world currently. This advice applies to much of any event that can cause stress. An example could be the insurrection of the Capitol. During that time, I turned off the news and focused on my homework. Watching current events unfold before our eyes can increase stress as we tend to worry about what’s next. It’s also important to listen and focus on your body. Make sure to be well-rested, eat healthily (the CDC also offers an article for eating healthily), continue taking preventative measures for all health issues like vaccinations and blood work, not just COVID-19 measures. Try to make time for yourself to do things you enjoy. Catch up on your favorite show, make your favorite food or drink (Dalgona coffee may have been another fad for TikTok users but it’s still pretty delicious). It’s also important to check up on others. Human connection is vital, although our contact with others may be limited during this time but calling and texting your friends is a perfect way to get in touch. If you ever feel in crisis or know someone else who may feel that way. Contact any of the following resources for help.
If you are in crisis, get immediate help:
Call 911 in the USA & Canada, 999 in the UK, 112 in Europe, or 000 in Australia
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255) for English, 1-888-628-9454 for Spanish, or Lifeline Crisis Chat.
National Domestic Violence Hotline e: 1-800-799-7233 or text LOVEIS to 22522
National Child Abuse Hotline : 1-800-4AChild (1-800-422-4453) or text 1-800-422-4453
National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) or Online Chat
Veteran’s Crisis Line: 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or Crisis Chat or text: 8388255
Disaster Distress Helpline: CALL or TEXT 1-800-985-5990 (press 2 for Spanish).
The Eldercare Locator: 1-800-677-1116 – TTY Instructions
It’s also important not to turn to alcohol or drugs to cope with stress. These may seem like ways to get relief or escape from anything you’re experiencing but it will only make it worse. The CDC also says that using alcohol and drugs can also cause your body to weaken and also lessen its ability to fight off infections; which includes COVID-19.
It may seem tough. These times we’re experiencing are unpredictable and scary. However, we’re all experiencing this time together. It’s important to know that your mental and physical health matters. Taking time to yourself is not selfish, it’s needed. These tips can help relieve stress and anxiety which can improve your physical and mental health. It may seem difficult or near impossible to feel any sense of normality but we can adapt and get through this.
Link to cover image: https://www.sharp.com/health-news/images/COVID-19-and-its-emotional-toll-HN2390-iStock-1213646192-Sized.png