These are stressful times that we are living in. Covid-19 has heightened concerns about our health, the health of loved ones and even our financial security. Everyone responds differently to stressful situations and as such each person has their own unique way of managing stress.
Stress management is essential for good physical health. Stress suppresses the immune system making us more susceptible to infections.
The following are recommendations to help manage stress. Most importantly, focus on what you can change and accept the circumstances that you cannot change.
- Stay connected. Research has demonstrated that social support is very important to resilience and recovery during times of stress. The more isolated and alone we feel during times of social distancing and self- quarantine the more likely our mental health will be negatively impacted. Isolation means the loss of physical, material and emotional support from loved ones. This can result in depression, anxiety and insomnia.
- Create a morning routine. Consistency makes you feel more productive and helps keep your mind off of the chaos and uncertainty.
- Check in with loved ones regularly and reach out to your social network to help keep you connected.
- Find ways to help others. By taking the focus off of yourself, you can experience reduced stress and a sense of well- being.
- Practice a daily ritual of self care which can include exercise, yoga, meditation or engaging in a favorite hobby.
- Limit news and media consumption to once or twice a day. Conflicting news stories are guaranteed to increase anxiety.
- Eat a healthy diet and limit alcohol consumption.
Above all, remember what stress management strategies work for you and use them regularly to get through this challenging pandemic.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Cynthia Dorr, B.S.N., M.D., ABEM, is a boarded Emergency Medicine physcian and practiced emergency medicine for 25 years. She has been working in occupational health for the past 7 years and currently works at Taylor Made Diagnostics, Inc.
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