Handling Stress and Anxiety During the COVID-19 Pandemic

At a certain point, a state of constant stress and anxiety can take a toll on someone closely monitoring every detail of the COVID-19 pandemic, AKA the 2019 novel Coronavirus.

That’s why cultivating your own wellbeing is critical right now. Even the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention encourage people to take breaks during times like now. Switch the news off for a little while, and do something relaxing.

Here are a few fun ways you can relieve the stress and anxiety of the Coronavirus.

PLAY SOME GAMES

Because we’re all social distancing and limiting close contact with others to reduce community spread, we have a lot more time to spend at home.

One of the best ways to make use of this unprecedented downtime with family is playing a game. Everyone has at least one board game in their closest, so pull one out, and give it a try. But don’t get too competitive—you’re trying to reduce stress and anxiety.

If you’re looking for a game with a little more flash than a tabletop game, play some video games with the family. It will at least be fun watching someone misunderstand the controls.

WATCH THIS

If games require more energy than you can spare, and if you just want to zone out and relax, watch a good movie. As a medium created to transport you to another world, film stands as one of the best forms of entertainment to distract you from the stress of the Pandemic.

For those in need of a longer distraction, there’s always TV. Even though it’s a phrase repeated every year, we are in the golden age of television. So you have no shortage of television series to binge.

But when you’re short for time, you can always watch funny videos on YouTube. Nothing beats cute babies laughing or TikTok compilations.

LISTEN UP EVERYBODY

Apart from games and movies, there’s one surefire method you can use to drift away from the stress of COVID-19: listening to your favorite music.

Whether alone or with your family, listening to your favorite 90s hip hop or classic country tunes will surely relieve your stress and anxiety.

So even though the 2019 Coronavirus pandemic may damper your mood, you can rejuvenate your soul and get your groove back with some funky basslines, face-melting guitar solos, and heavenly harmonies.

TAKE A LOOK IN A BOOK

If your idea of relaxing and unwinding involves a little more silence than any of those options can offer, spend some time reading books.

Now is the perfect time to crack open that one book that you’ve always wanted to explore. For some, that book might be one of John Barth’s epic 800-page door stoppers. For others that book might be one of Rupi Kaur’s slim books of poems.

Whatever that book might be for you, now is the time because the enormous world of literature has something to offer every reader.

PHONE A FRIEND/HANG OUT VIRTUALLY

Most people are being pretty cautious and participating in social distancing, so drop a line and give them that call you’ve been putting off or better yet, set up a video chat!

Whether you call grandma or that one friend you haven’t talked to in a while, now is the perfect time to catch up—not to talk about the Coronavirus, but to catch up on each other’s lives. Carve out the time, and call or video chat with that friend/relative.

Not only will this serve as a stress-relieving distraction from this pandemic, but it will also strengthen your relationships and bring a little more joy to the community.

DON’T FORGET YOUR BODY

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in times like now, not only do people neglect their minds, they also neglect their bodies.

That’s why it’s important to remind ourselves that even though we may be safe in our homes from the Coronavirus, we still need to be intentional about taking care of our bodies. The CDC website advises everyone to “take deep breaths, stretch, or meditate” as a way of decompressing and reducing stress and anxiety.

What’s more, the CDC also encourages people to maintain a healthy, well-balanced diet, so avoid alcohol and drugs because it’s easy to become dependent on them in stressful times like this.

BACK TO DAILY LIFE

As hard as the Coronavirus has hit the United States, we are still standing, undeterred. But to make sure we can continue to fight back against this respiratory disease, it is more integral now than ever before that we to take the time we need to focus on our often-ignored psychological needs.

Even the World Health Organization echoes this school of thought, encouraging people to continue doing whatever activities they find enjoyable and relaxing.

Whether it means watching a movie, listening to music, playing a board game, or taking care of your body, managing your own stress and anxiety better equips you to help your community defeat the Coronavirus.

Constantly stressing over cases of COVID-19 is only going to give us more anxiety and tension. 

After you’ve taken the time to relax, and only afterwards, check out our Coronavirus Resource Center. If you exhibit symptoms of COVID-19, such as a fever, cough, or shortness of breath, please limit exposure to others and call your primary care provider or 866-779-6121.