Managing Stress Associated with the COVID-19 Virus Outbreak

Managing Stress Associated with the COVID-19 Virus Outbreak

Impact of the COVID-19 Outbreak on Individuals and Communities

The COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak has the potential to increase stress and anxiety, both because of the fear of catching the virus and also because of uncertainty about how the outbreak will affect us socially and economically. There are practical steps you can take to improve your wellbeing.

Coping with the Stress of COVID-19

Dealing with stress reactions caused by the COVID-19 virus outbreak can improve your health, quality of life, and wellbeing. The following evidence-informed principles have been shown to be related to better outcomes in many adverse situations (Hobfoll et al., 2007). There are key actions within each element that might be especially helpful for those affected by the COVID-19 outbreak (Reissman et al, 2006; Gonzales, 2003). It’s not necessary to have all elements in place but implementing some of the following suggestions may help you deal with the stress caused by the COVID-19 virus.

Increase Sense of Safety

Reduce anxiety with healthy actions that make you feel safer. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other experts suggest the following good hygiene habits to limit the risk of infection:

•Wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

•Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.

•Properly dispose of used tissues.

•Cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve, arm, or elbow if you don’t have a tissue.

•Clean your hands after coughing or sneezing.

•Stay at home if you are sick.

•Avoid contact with those who are sick.

•Clean and disinfect objects or surfaces that may have come into contact with germs.

•Make plans for what will happen if someone in the home becomes ill or if quarantine or shelterin-place measures are ordered.