Coping with stress and anxiety

Sarpy County

Coping with stress and anxiety

Date: 
March 24, 2020

Fear and anxiety about COVID-19 as well as social isolation can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adults and children. Coping with stress will make you, the people you care about and your community stronger.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests the following ways reduce your stress as well as your children's stress:

Things you can do to support yourself

  • Take breaks from watching, reading or listening to news stories, including social media. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting.
  • Take care of your body: Take deep breaths, stretch or meditateexternal icon. Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals. Exercise regularly. Get plenty of sleep. Avoid alcohol and drugs.
  • Make time to unwind. Try to do some other activities you enjoy.
  • Connect with others. Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling.

Call your healthcare provider if stress gets in the way of your daily activities for several days in a row.

Learn more about taking care of your emotional health: https://emergency.cdc.gov/coping/selfcare.asp

Things you can do to support your child

  • Take time to talk with your child or teen about the COVID-19 outbreak. Answer questions and share facts about COVID-19 in a way that your child or teen can understand.
  • Reassure your child or teen that they are safe. Let them know it is ok if they feel upset. Share with them how you deal with your own stress so that they can learn how to cope from you.
  • Limit your family’s exposure to news coverage of the event, including social media. Children may misinterpret what they hear and can be frightened about something they do not understand.
  • Try to keep up with regular routines. If schools are closed, create a schedule for learning activities and relaxing or fun activities.
  • Be a role model.  Take breaks, get plenty of sleep, exercise, and eat well. Connect with your friends and family members.

Learn more about helping children cope: https://www.cdc.gov/childrenindisasters/helping-children-cope.html

More from the CDC on stress and anxiety during the COVID-19 pandemichttps://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/managing-stress-anxiety.html

More resources: