Why am I feeling so stressed?

It is natural to feel stress, anxiety, and worry during and after a major crisis. COVID-19 might fall into that category for you. While everyone reacts differently, and your own feelings will change over time, notice and accept how you feel.

Taking care of your emotional health at a time like this will help you think clearly, plan responsibly and manage the stress and anxiety that you may feel.

Remember, you are not stuck at home, you are safe at home!

Practicing any or all of the following recommendations may help reduce your anxiety and help you feel more in control of your situation.

Establish a Daily Routine: Plan to access information about the situation from a trusted source about once a day. Do work of some kind (even if it’s cleaning or doing your laundry). Exercise if you can. A walk outside or creating an indoor exercise routine is also very important in a healthy routine.

Try Mindfulness: Sit quietly for a period of time (start with just a few minutes and increase as you want) taking slow deep breaths while thinking of something that makes you happy – or nothing at all!

Maintain Contact with Family and Friends: There are so many ways to stay connected. Call and chat with someone, try FaceTime or Skype. Talking about your feelings with those you trust may decrease your anxiety significantly.

Focus on what you can control: That includes, your routine, choosing to reach out to friends and family and practicing self-care such as eating well and trying to exercise.

Manage Sleep: Getting sufficient sleep is very important when experiencing stress and anxiety. Plan to go to sleep at the same time each night. If you initially have trouble falling asleep, read something uplifting under soft light for a while or practice mindful breathing as described above.

Limit Exposure to News and Other Media: It is important to stay informed through a trusted news source. Consciously limit the amount of time (hours or minutes) that you watch or read news every day. There are sensational reports in print and online that might add to your feelings of anxiety and stress.

If you have tried recommendations for self-care, but experience prolonged sleeplessness or distress begins to impact activities of your daily life for several days or weeks, please do not hesitate to contact your DMC primary care provider and ask for a referral for help.

The tips above were provided by members of DMC’s Behavioral Health team. To learn more about DMC Behavioral Health Services, please click here.