It's normal to feel worried during times of stress. Many people struggle with anxiety in the best of times. Here are some steps you can take to manage anxiety and lower your stress.
- Get the facts.
- Go to trusted sources. Check the Government of Canada website at canada.ca, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website at cdc.gov, and the World Health Organization (WHO) website at who.int to learn more. Having good information and knowing what you can do can help you feel more in control.
- Be wary of social media. People often share false information that's unhelpful and can feed your anxiety.
- Take care of yourself.
- Stay on a regular schedule. Sticking with your normal routines can be reassuring. Go to bed and get up at your normal times. Eat meals at your usual times. If you're working from home, dress as you normally would.
- Eat healthy, balanced meals. Don't overdo caffeine, and limit or avoid alcohol. Get enough sleep. And rest if you need to. Stay active. If you can, go for a walk or a bike ride. If you can't get outside, find ways to be active indoors. For example, you might look for online exercise classes or put on some music and dance.
- Be good to yourself.
- Take breaks from media. Limit the amount of time you spend on your phone or computer, reading news about the virus. Focusing too much on it can raise your anxiety level.
- Do things that help you relax. Maybe it's stretching, meditation, or deep breathing. Or maybe it's taking a warm bath, reading a good book, or doing a hobby you enjoy.
- Keep in touch with your support network. Sharing your feelings with friends and family may help you feel better. Your listening and support can be helpful to them too.
- Reach out if you need more help. Many therapists can do counselling by phone or online. You could also look for an online support group.
Current as of: April 24, 2020
Author: Healthwise Staff
Heather Quinn MD - Family Medicine
Lesley Ryan MD - Family Medicine