Take Care of Your Emotional Health

Posted 3/25/2020 in Family Practice

Brought to you by Regional Family Health

The outbreak of COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) across the nation may be stressful for many in our communities. Feeling stress, anxiety, grief, and worry are all normal during and after disasters such as this.

Everyone reacts differently. Your feelings may even change over time. Take note of this. It is ok.

Taking care of your emotional health will help you think clearly and react appropriately to urgent needs to protect yourself and your family.

  • Take care of your body. Eat healthy, well-balanced meals. Exercise regularly. Get plenty of sleep. Avoid alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs.
  • Connect with others. Share your concerns and feelings with a friend or family member. Build your support system.
  • Take breaks. Make time to unwind. Take deep breaths. Try doing activities you enjoy.
  • Stay informed. Not knowing current, reliable information can cause more stress. Watch, listen to, or read news from reliable sources. Be aware of rumors that circulate online, especially on social media.
  • Avoid too much news exposure. Take breaks from news stories. Hearing and seeing the same information and images repeatedly can be upsetting and stressful. Try to do enjoyable activities and return to normal life as much as you can.
  • Seek help when needed. There are resources available to help you. YourLifeIowa.org offers help via chat, text, or phone calls.

Some common signs of distress include:

  • Feelings of numbness, disbelief, anxiety or fear
  • Changes in appetite, energy, and activity levels
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Difficulty sleeping or nightmares and upsetting thoughts and images
  • Physical reactions such as headaches, body pains, stomach problems, and skin rashes
  • Worsening of chronic health problems
  • Anger or short-temper
  • Increased use of alcohol, tobacco, or drugs

Take care of yourself during this time of uncertainty. Self-care during this emergency will help you not only in the moment, but with your long-term healing.

For trusted information and updates related to COVID-19, residents are encouraged to visit regmedctr.org/covid-19coronavirus.iowa.gov, idph.iowa.gov/Emerging-Health-Issues/Novel-Coronavirus, or www.cdc.gov/coronavirus.