The outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) may be stressful for people. 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.
Stress during an infectious disease outbreak can include
How you respond to the outbreak can depend on your background, the things that make you different from other people, and the community you live in.
People who may respond more strongly to the stress of a crisis include
Taking care of yourself, your friends, and your family can help you cope with stress. Helping others cope with their stress can also make your community stronger.
If you, or someone you care about, are feeling overwhelmed with emotions like sadness, depression, or anxiety, or feel like you want to harm yourself or others
Sharing the facts about COVID-19. Understanding the risk to yourself and people you care about can make an outbreak less stressful.
When you share accurate information about COVID-19, you can help make people feel less stressed and make a connection with them.
Call your healthcare provider if stress gets in the way of your daily activities for several days in a row.
People with preexisting mental health conditions should continue with their treatment and be aware of new or worsening symptoms.
Children and teens react, in part, on what they see from the adults around them. When parents and caregivers deal with the COVID-19 calmly and confidently, they can provide the best support for their children. Parents can be more reassuring to others around them, especially children, if they are better prepared.
Not all children and teens respond to stress in the same way. Some common changes to watch for include
Check in with your loved ones often. Virtual communication can help you and your loved ones feel less lonely and isolated. Consider connecting with loved ones by:
Take care of your own emotional health. Caring for a loved one can take an emotional toll, especially during an outbreak like COVID-19. There are ways to support yourself.
Stay home if you are sick. Do not visit family or friends who are at greater risk for severe illness from COVID-19. Use virtual communication to keep in touch to support your loved one and keep them safe.
Talking about your feelings can help you stay in good mental health and deal with times when you feel troubled. Talking about your feelings is NOT a sign of weakness. It’s part of taking charge of your wellbeing and doing what you can to stay healthy. You owe it to yourself and those who depend on you.
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