The outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) may be stressful for people. Fear and anxiety about a disease can be overwhelming and can cause strong emotions in all ages. Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations. How you respond to the outbreak can depend on your background, the difference in people, and the community you live in, along with other factors.
Some things that can cause stress during an infectious disease outbreak can include:
- Fear and worry about your own health and the health of your loved ones
- Changes in sleep or eating patterns
- Difficulty concentrating
- Worsening of chronic health problems
- Increased use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs
Things you can do to support yourself:
- Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media
- Take care of your body, eat healthy, exercise, & getting plenty of sleep are just a few things you can do
- Try to do some activities you enjoy, maybe things you haven’t done in a while
- Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling
Not all children and teens respond to stress in the same way. Some common changes to watch for:
- Excessive crying or irritation in younger children
- Sadness, unhealthy eating or sleeping habits
- Unexplained headaches or body pains
- Irritability and acting out behaviors in teens
- Avoidance of activities enjoyed in the past
Few things you can do to support your child:
- Take time to talk with your child or teen about what is stressing them
- Reassure your child or teen that they are safe.
- Try to keep up with regular routines, if schools are closed, create a schedule for learning activities and relaxing or fun activities.
- One of the most important things to help your child, is to be a role model. Take breaks, get plenty of sleep, exercise, and eat well.
Remember to call your healthcare provider if stress is getting in the way of your daily activities.
If you, or someone you care about, are feeling overwhelmed with emotions like sadness, depression, or anxiety, or feel like you want to harm yourself or others call 911 or 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or text Hello to 741741.