The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic can create anxiety and stress and can feel especially overwhelming for people who were already living in stressful situations. Perhaps you have older family members that you are worried about, or you are among the more than 760,000 Texans whose job status has been affected by the outbreak. Maybe social distancing has got you feeling isolated from your friends and family as you try to keep yourself and your family healthy during this time.
Maintain your emotional health
Regardless of your situation, it’s important to know that it’s natural to feel stressed, anxious, and overwhelmed during these uncertain times. Everyone reacts differently to high-stress situations, but the good news is that there are things you can do to maintain your mental well-being even in the face of this new crisis. Here are four tips for coping with coronavirus stress from licensed professionals from Vecino’s counseling department.
Create a daily routine and stick with it
Creating – and maintaining – a daily routine can help you reduce stress gain back some control. While it’s not necessary to build a detailed routine or plan out every hour of your day, setting some time for carrying out essential tasks like eating, exercising, sleeping, working or doing housework, and spending time with your family can give you structure and help you stay sane during this time.
But also remember that it’s normal to feel overwhelmed and worried right now. Be gentle with yourself, and don’t feel guilty if you are not being as productive as you’d like or if you don’t feel like sticking to your routine on some days.
Take a break from the news and social media
Being informed, especially about what’s happening in Houston is important. Reading what experts and trusted sources are saying about the virus can help you make the right decisions on how to protect your and your family’s health.
But there is also a lot of false information and uncertainty, and reading the news or scrolling on social media all day can add to your existing stress and fears.
If you find yourself reaching for your phone more often than ever before, try limiting the number of times you check the news for updates to a couple of times per day. Also, step away from social media if you start feeling overwhelmed and try to use that time to do something else.
Connect with others
Study after study has shown that loneliness and isolation can be bad for your health, increase your stress levels, and put you at risk of developing a chronic disease. So, while right now we must practice social distancing, it’s important to stay connected with family and friends.
We are lucky to be living in a time where we can talk and also see our loved ones even when we can’t get together with them in person. Make it a point to reach out to your friends and family via phone, WhatsApp, text, FaceTime, or other digital platforms frequently.
We’re here for you
Here at Vecino, your health and well-being continue to be our top priority. If you feel like stress is getting in the way of your daily activities for several days in a row, our licensed professionals on the counseling staff can help. Call Vecino’s Denver Harbor Family Clinic at 713-674-3326 to make a teletherapy appointment and get the support you need from your own home.