College of DuPage Nursing Student Karina Gonzalez shared that the coronavirus has caused a lot of uncertainty and anxiety for many people. Not knowing what this virus can do can cause stress and anxiety to people. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC, 2020), “Fear and anxiety about a new disease can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adults and children.” Coping with your stress in a healthy way is good for your body and makes you stronger.
What changes can stress cause?
- Sleep or eating patterns
- Difficulty concentrating
- Worsening mental health conditions
- Increase the use of tobacco, alcohol, or other substances
Those at risk include:
- People with chronic diseases
- Children and teens
- Frontline workers
- Those who are taking care of ill loved ones
- People who are socially isolated
- People who have a history of substance and alcohol abuse
- People existing mental health conditions
How to relieve stress:
- Exercise lowers your stress hormones like cortisol and also releases endorphins which are chemicals that improve your mood and act as natural painkillers
- 2. Light a candle with essential oils: Aromatherapy is the use of scents to control your mood and some scents can help to calm your mood.
- Reduce caffeine intake: Caffeine that is found in teas and coffee is a stimulant and can make you more jittery and anxious.
- Writing a journal: Writing down what you are feeling and anxious about puts them into perspective and allows you to focus on the positive.
- Laughing improves your mood and helps to relax your muscles.
- Yoga helps by increasing body and breath awareness.
- Practice mindfulness. Mindfulness helps to describe practices that help and draw you into the present time to what you and your body is feeling.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2020. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/managing-stress-anxiety.html