Whether you currently suffer from a mental illness, a dual diagnosis, substance abuse, or are perfectly healthy, the outbreak of COVID-19 may be stressful for you. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), fear and anxiety caused by worrying about the disease can be overwhelming.
The CDC lists what stress during this uncertain time can look like for different people warning that some people may have stronger reactions than others:
- Fear/worry about your health or the health of your loved ones
- Changes to sleep or eating habits
- Difficulty sleeping/concentrating
- Exacerbated chronic health problems
- Worsening of mental health conditions
- Increased substance abuse
Those who are at risk of a stronger reaction to the stress caused by COVID-19 include:
- Older people
- Those who are at a higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19, such as people with chronic diseases
- Children and teens
- First responders, health care workers, etc.
- People who have mental health conditions and/or substance abuse issues
The CDC also compiled a list of ways to cope with the stress of COVID-19, which includes:
- Taking breaks from pandemic news. This includes social media breaks.
- Taking care of your body with exercise, healthy eating, avoiding alcohol/drugs, and meditation.
- Making time for enjoyable activities/hobbies.
- Connecting with others.
If you or someone you love needs help with overwhelming emotions like sadness, depression, or anxiety, call 911 or visit the Disaster Distress Helpline (or call 1-888-985-5990). While this time in our lives may seem scary or overwhelming, there's no reason you should have to suffer alone. Reach out today to get the help you need.