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3 tips to help you handle stress in difficult times: Outbreaks and COVID-19

Keeping your calm and building your resilience during a pandemic isn’t easy, but it isn’t impossible, either.

At the time of writing, COVID-19, popularly known as coronavirus has affected people worldwide, confining cities and sealing borders in its wake. People are very understandably worried and those worries are causing stress.

And stress isn’t merely unpleasant; it can make people more susceptible to illness, too. No one wants that—especially not with a global pandemic on the loose.

Handling COVID-19-induced stress

While there’s no guaranteed end to COVID-19 on the horizon just yet, there are practical ways to deal with stress. Read on for our best tips to help you keep your calm and stay resilient during the current coronavirus crisis.

1. Stick with the facts (and take a break from the news)

It’s hard to resist the constant onslaught of coronavirus updates, but you’re probably better off unsubscribing and muting alerts, at least for part of your day.

Instead of drowning yourself in dire op-eds about future outcomes as the situation continues to evolve, check-in regularly with a reputable source such as the World Health Organization (WHO), local health services, or your country’s center for disease control.

2. Log repetitive thoughts

When an issue is everywhere the way coronavirus is, it’s easy to get into circular or unproductive thinking about it. If you’re overthinking or having repetitive, unhelpful thoughts about COVID-19, log your thoughts in your Foundations thought record, or jot them down on paper. Getting your thoughts down helps give your mind a break, and can help you examine your feelings in a more logical, rational way.

You also might want to schedule a regular time to do this daily while you’re building the habit. And if your repetitive thoughts are interfering with your sleep, the Foundations Constructive worry for sleep program walks you through techniques you can use to clear your mind so you can get better rest.

3. Do something that helps you relax

When the news about coronavirus is stressing you out, do something that relaxes you. Read a novel by your favorite author, do some yoga, dance around your house with a broom or a mop to music that makes you smile, or stream that new show you’ve been saving for a rainy day.

And if you’re feeling wound up and want to relax right now, deep breathing could help. Read more about how to use deep breathing to calm down here, or get step-by-step guidance from Foundations.

What are you doing to handle your coronavirus-induced stress? Let us know at foundations@koahealth.com​.