The coronavirus outbreak is taking a toll on economies and industries across the world. As the virus spreads and infects more people every day, it is likely to feel anxious and overwhelmed. Experts say taking care of mental health and managing stress is equally important during this time.
US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has laid down guidelines on managing stress and anxiety in the wake of Covid-19 outbreak.
“Fear and anxiety about a disease 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 CDC website states.
Who can respond strongly to the outbreak
According to the CDC, some people are more likely to feel overwhelmed in such circumstances. Older people, teenagers, people with chronic or terminal illnesses as well as those battling mental illness may respond strongly in such situations and feel more anxious.
How can stress manifest
Stress and anxiety during an infectious disease outbreak can manifest in several ways. People are likely to fear and worry more about their health and the health of their loved ones.
“Changes in sleep or eating patterns, difficulty sleeping or concentrating, worsening of chronic health problems and an increased use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs,” may also occur due to stress, as reported by the CDC.
In order to remain anxiety-free and manage stress around the Covid-19 outbreak, the CDC suggests the following:
- 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 meditate. Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep, and 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.
The CDC also calls for sharing accurate and credible information about Covid-19. It can “help make people feel less stressed”.