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Published on March 16, 2020

How to Cope With Stress and Anxiety About COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

Feeling stressed or anxious is a natural response to the current COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak. While there are some things that are beyond our control, there are many actions we can take to care for our emotional and mental well-being.

How do you deal with the stress and anxiety related to the current COVID-19 (coronavirus) situation?

Right now, everyone is feeling a heightened sense of stress. Stress can weaken our immune system, so it’s important to devote time to calming our bodies for both our physical and mental health. Some ways you can decrease stress include:

  • Exercise.
  • Mindfulness.
  • Deep breathing.
  • Prayer and meditation.

Everyone has their own way of relieving stress. Think back to techniques you’ve used in the past to calm down during stressful situations – these activities are important to practice right now.

I want to stay informed, but all of the information about COVID-19 makes me feel more stressed. What should I do?

Taking in too much information overloads our brains and bodies, and it can certainly increase feelings of stress or anxiety. Limiting the amount of information you take in is key for managing stress.

Try finding 1 or 2 reliable sources of information. Check them once or twice a day. Additionally, avoid talking about the situation unnecessarily. Set limits with others about how much you do (or don’t) want to talk about COVID-19. Instead of spending the majority of your time focusing on everything that’s happening in the world right now, focus on the things you can control – this will help you manage feelings stress and anxiety.

About the Author

Kathy Clayton, MSW, LCSW, is a therapist and Cone Health Employee Assistance Counseling Program manager.

How to Cope With Stress and Anxiety About COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

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