The corona virus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic may be stressful for people. Fear and anxiety about a new disease and what could happen can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adults and children. Public health actions, such as social distancing, can make people feel isolated and lonely and can increase stress and anxiety. However, these actions are necessary to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
Providing care to others during the COVID-19 pandemic can lead to stress, anxiety, fear, and other strong emotions. How you cope with these emotions can affect your well-being, the care you give to others while doing your job, and the well-being of the people you care about outside of work.
During this pandemic, it is critical that you recognize what stress looks like, take steps to build your resilience and cope with stress, and know where to go if you need help.
Recognizing the Symptoms
- Feeling irritation, anger, or denial
- Feeling uncertain, nervous, or anxious
- Feeling helpless or powerless
- Lacking motivation
- Feeling tired, overwhelmed, or burned out
- Feeling sad or depressed
- Having trouble sleeping
- Having trouble concentrating
WHAT DOES STRESS LOOK LIKE?
- A normal response to demands either emotional, intellectual, or physical.
- It keeps us alert, motivated, and ready to avoid danger.
- Chronic stress can lead to increasing the risk of diseases like depression, heart disease and a variety of other problems.
- Disturbs equilibrium (balance)
- Sexual dysfunction
- Upset stomach
- Chest Pain
- Elevated Blood Pressure
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
- Accept that there are Events that you cannot control
- Keep a positive attitude
- Be assertive instead of aggressive
- Assert your feelings, opinions, or beliefs instead of becoming angry, defensive or passive.
- Practice relaxation techniques; try meditation, yoga, or tai-chi.
- Exercise regularly
SUGGESTIONS FOR COPING
- Communicate with your coworkers, supervisors, and employees about job stress.
- Talk openly about how the pandemic is affecting your work.
- Identify factors that cause stress and work together to identify solutions.
- Ask about how to access mental health resources in your workplace.
- Remind yourself that everyone is in an unusual situation with limited resources.
- Identify and accept those things which you do not have control over.
- Recognize that you are performing a crucial role in fighting this pandemic and that you are doing the best you can with the resources available.
Increase your sense of control by keeping a consistent daily routine when possible —try to keep a similar schedule as before the pandemic.
- Try to get adequate sleep.
- Make time to eat healthy meals.
- Take breaks during your shift to rest, stretch, or check in with supportive colleagues, coworkers, friends and family.
- When away from work, get exercise when you can. Spend time outdoors either being physically activity or relaxing. Do things you enjoy during non-work hours.
- Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media.
- Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting and mentally exhausting, especially since you work with people directly affected by the virus.