The COVID-19 pandemic may be stressful. Fear and worrying about the virus can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adults and children. Coping with this stress may help you. Below are strategies and resources that may help you cope with stress.
The ongoing stress and trauma of the COVID-19 crisis can take a serious toll on our bodies: creating tense muscles, headaches, digestive issues, difficulty sleeping, and even immunity problems. Soothing the nervous system, by taking care of the body, can help to bring us back to a healthier place.
- COVID-19: Our Body, Our Brains, Our Trauma - A 4-part series on trauma, the brain, and coping with prolonged stress in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis. Includes tips for self-regulation, staying connected, and managing “contagious” emotions.
- Breathing exercises - Psychologist Dr. Karen Treisman leads you through a variety of quick, effective exercises to soothe the nervous system:
- Yoga with Adriene - free, guided yoga videos on YouTube; a variety of videos are available for different movement needs.
- Down Dog - Free app with a range of yoga classes for all levels, including: hatha, gentle, restorative, chair yoga, yoga nidra, and more. Offers in-app purchases, and in response to the many school closures taking place, currently offering fully free access until July 1 for all students and teachers (K-12 and college) and fully free access until July 1 for all healthcare professionals.
Hearing about the pandemic can be upsetting. It is important to remember that not everything being said about COVID-19 is accurate. If you notice that you are feeling upset or more irritable, take a break from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media.
Podcasts - Listen to something besides the news
The neurobiology research shows us that relationships and connections are important in mitigating the effects of trauma. COVID-19 is challenging us to be creative in being emotionally close but socially distant. Below are some resources that allow for physically distant connecting.
- Houseparty App: a free social networking service that allows groups to play games together virtually. Visit your App store or the Houseparty App website.
- At-Home Gaming: Girls’ Night In - A public list of games to play with friends virtually. Not just for those who identify as girls!
- VocaliD’s Human Voicebank - Donate your voice for people who cannot speak or have lost their voice due to illness or disability
Think about the things you have done in the past that have brought you joy or helped you manage your stress. Are you able to do these activities? Or consider trying a new activity that you haven’t tried before.
- Color: Self-Love and Self-Care Coloring Book is a free, downloadable book of coloring pages focusing on messages of empowerment, support, and self-care.
- Catch a Play: London’s National Theatre Live is bringing the stage to the screen by streaming productions for free on YouTube every week from April-June 2020.
- Tune into a Concert: Billboard Magazine continually updates this list of shows and musical events to stream from the comfort of your home.