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 in adults and children. Coping with 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.
Stress during an infectious disease outbreak can include
- Fear and worry about your own health and the health of your loved ones
- Changes in sleep or eating patterns
- Difficulty sleeping or concentrating
- Worsening of chronic health problems
- Increased use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs
The soothing power of music is well-established
It has a unique link to our emotions, so can be an extremely effective stress management tool. Music can affect the body in many health-promoting ways, which is the basis for a growing field known as music therapy.
As music can absorb our attention, it acts as a distraction at the same time it helps to explore emotions. This means it can be a great aid to meditation, helping to prevent the mind wandering.
Things you can do to support yourself
- Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting.
- Put together a custom playlist for each of your activities and you may soon notice a significant decrease in stress.
- Take care of your body. Take deep breaths, stretch, or meditate. Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep, and avoid alcohol and drugs.
- Make time to unwind. Try to do some other activities you enjoy.
- Connect with others. Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling.
Call your healthcare provider if stress gets in the way of your daily activities for several days in a row.
Reduce stress in yourself and others
When you share accurate information about COVID-19 you can help make people feel less stressed and allow you to connect with them.