How to deal with stress caused by a pandemic

The worldwide outbreak of COVID-19 caused by coronavirus causes stress and anxiety to many. Fear and anxiety can trigger strong emotions in both adults and children. Reducing intentional stress can be beneficial to yourself, those around you, and society as a whole.

Coping with the stress caused by a pandemic
Coping with the stress caused by a pandemic

Older people, young children, and adolescents, as well as people at higher risk of developing a more severe form, are more likely to experience stress in crisis situations. People involved in COVID-19 containment efforts, such as medical practitioners and other health professionals, are also under severe stress.

During an outbreak of infectious disease, stress may manifest itself as:

Fear and anxiety about one's own health and that of one's loved ones.

Eating and sleep disorders.

Difficulty concentrating.

Exacerbation of chronic diseases.

Desire to increase alcohol, smoking and other intoxicating substances.

There are people whose knowledge and in-depth understanding of the facts of COVID-19 creates a greater sense of security that can reduce stress. Only evidence-based facts whose source of information is reliable shall be taken into account.

How to reduce stress

If you watch and read the news regularly, listen to stories about the virus and spend a lot of time on social networks, take breaks. With the constant information on the pandemic, the excitement is increasing.

Take care of your health. Performs breathing exercises, stretches, meditates. Eat a balanced diet, exercise, have enough time for sleep, avoid alcohol and other addictive substances.

Take the time to relax. Do fun activities.

Communicate with people you trust and care about.

If you have high levels of stress for several days in a row and are interfering with your daily routine, contact your family doctor. People with mental illness should continue with their usual therapy and be aware that certain symptoms may worsen.

Managing the stress associated with pandemic disease
Managing the stress associated with pandemic disease

What parents need to know

Children and adolescents respond to the emotions of parents and adults. Parent and adult peace and confidence can be the best support for children during a virus outbreak. Every child and teenager reacts differently to stressful situations.

Signs that your child may be stressed:

Signs that your child may be stressed:

Excessive crying and irritation.

A return to a behavior that was observed when the child was younger.

Excessive worry and sadness.

Eating and sleep disorders.

Adolescents are characterized by mild irritability and performance.

Deterioration of grades.

Attention and concentration disorders.

Avoiding activities that used to be fun.

Head and body pain.

How to support your child:

Take the time to talk to your child or teen about the new coronavirus and COVID-19. Answer the questions and tell the facts in a language your child and adolescent understands.

Confirm that the children are safe. Explain that excitement and sadness in such situations is natural. Tell us how you deal with stress and what your children can learn from their parents.

Limits the time children and adolescents spend on social networks and other media. Children can easily misinterpret and interpret what they hear or read, which can lead to increased fear.

Try to follow a routine. While the schools are closed, try to provide educational activities and soothing or fun activities for the child and the teenager after school.

Be a role model for your child. Rest, sleep, be active and exercise, eat healthily. Connect with family and friends remotely.

Facing the stress brought on by a pandemic
Facing the stress brought on by a pandemic

If you are self-isolating or quarantine

Limited contact with other people can be very stressful. Everyone feels different when in isolation or quarantine. Common reactions:

Various emotions, including relief after quarantine.

Fear and excitement about one's and one's family's health.

Increased stress by observing one's state of health.

Sadness, anger, frustration because family and friends are forced to avoid contact even if the person isolated does not have symptoms.

Guilt for not being able to perform work or parent duties during the quarantine.

Worsening of mental health.

Children can be very anxious when someone they know is in quarantine.

Tackling the challenge of stress caused by a pandemic
Tackling the challenge of stress caused by a pandemic

When working on COVID-19 restriction

Involvement in COVID-19 restriction may result in increased emotion. To reduce reactions to high stress levels:

Recognize that stress can affect anyone who helps society in times of crisis.

Be aware that stress can lead to fatigue, malaise, fear, guilt.

Allow yourself and your family to recover from the effects of the pandemic.

Make a list of fun activities, such as active recreation, reading books, and more.

Avoid information in the media and social networks for a while.

Ask for help if you feel unable to cope with yourself, unable to care for your family or patients in the quality you are capable of before a pandemic.

Source: ESparveselibu.lv