Feelings of sadness, stress, anxiety and confusion are all normal emotional responses during a crisis. As the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic continues, it is important that individuals and families work to reduce stress by staying well-informed with accurate information, practicing healthy lifestyle choices, and taking care of their emotional health.
Coping with the Stress of COVID-19: Things You Can do to Support Yourself
Clean your hands often. Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands. (CDC)
Avoid close contact. Staying at least six feet away from other people lessens your chances of catching COVID-19. (John Hopkins Medicine)
Take care of your body. When feeling overwhelmed, take a break from hearing about the pandemic through the media. Meditate and stretch. Eat a well-balanced meal, exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep, and avoid alcohol and drugs. (CDC)
We’re all in this together. Practice leaning on your support system to help you. Delegate tasks. Maintain communication with your friends, loved ones and community members by sending emails, connecting on social media platforms or through phone calls or text.
There are many resources available from reputable sources that can provide important health information about COVID-19. Here are just a few:
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
Coping with Stress During Infectious Disease Outbreaks
Tips for Social Distancing, Quarantine, And Isolation During An Infectious Disease Outbreak
First Responders and Disaster Responders Resource Portal
Coping with Loneliness During Social Distancing
You are not alone. Although practicing distancing is encouraged, complete isolation should not be your goal. Staying active and connected to a supportive community are great ways to help you avoid relapse, remain focused on your recovery journey, and cope with feelings of loneliness or depression.
Do not hesitate to contact your support system.
Talk about your concerns and feelings with someone you trust over a phone or video call. Try using video calling platforms like Zoom or FaceTime to humanize the conversation.
Seek help with online resources.
Get the help you need with the click of a button.
- Digital all recovery meetings – 4x daily meetings 9 am, 12 pm, 3 pm, 9 pm EST zoom.us/my/allrecovery
- List of online meetings by phone, email, video conference, and chat rooms http://www.aa-intergroup.org/
- In The Rooms online recovery community (includes support group for those feeling stressed about the pandemic) https://www.intherooms.com/home/live-meetings/
- SMART Recovery online meetings https://www.smartrecovery.org/community/calendar.php
- Spanish-speaking online resource https://grupoaaskype.es.tl/
- Online recovery chat rooms https://stepchat.com/chat/room1.htm
- Online 12-Step Meetings https://www.12step.org/social/online-meetings/
- Lion Rock Online AA and Support Groups https://www.lionrockrecovery.com/online-aa-meetings-and-support-groups
- Al-Anon Electronic Meetings https://al-anon.org/al-anon-meetings/electronic-meetings/
Focus on your recovery plan.
Stay positive and proactive. Avoid temptations by setting daily reminders of your recovery goals each day and actively working towards what makes you your happiest and healthiest self.
Challenge yourself to a structured daily routine. Include fun activities like family time, watching your favorite show, cooking dinner or reading a new book. If you still find yourself with too much free time, try learning a new hobby like yoga, blogging, painting, or dancing.