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Fighting The Emotional Stress of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Together

March 24, 2020
Medically reviewed by Susan Kerrigan, MD and Marianne Madsen

A few months ago, if someone were to say that there would be a super contagious virus that would spread throughout the world and limit our ability to go anywhere or be with anybody for weeks, people would have laughed. 

 

Yet today, this is the reality and as such, the world is confused. It feels like overnight our world has changed, and it is hard to grasp the new norm and figure out how to properly go about dealing with it. Many of us feel like we are living in a sci-fi or horror movie, and no one truly knows when this pandemic will end. 

Many are nervous, stressed out, and trying to cope emotionally. It is important to note that for many people these feelings can come out in different ways. Each person may have a different way of handling these emotions that they are feeling. While we must let be what can be, as many are in pain and rightfully so, it is also our responsibility to take care of ourselves and the ones that we love.  

We must therefore be in tune to how we cope and how others around us are coping. It is crucial to find healthy ways to get through this time and, most importantly, to take care of ourselves. While it is certainly not easy, now more than ever is it important to make sure that we are getting enough sleep, eating healthy well-balanced meals, and exercising regularly. Additionally, with all the time we have at home we should be making sure that we are communicating with others and having some real rest and relaxation.

 

When we do reach out to others, though, make sure to realize that what may be necessary for one person to cope may not be for the next, and vice versa, and to know our limits. While this is an all-consuming pandemic–some people may feel that they do not want to think about it while others may want to only speak about it. Knowing what you want and understanding what your friends and family members want is key. 

The CDC shows that while some may cope by worrying, talking things out, or crying, others may respond in more drastic ways such as with an increased use of drugs and alcohol, having difficulty sleeping or eating, or worsening of chronic health problems. 

 

If you see a friend or family member really struggling with the stress of COVID-19, try to take extra steps to be there for them. Right now, we need to be there for our loved ones more than ever. If their pain is too intense for you to handle, don’t be nervous to reach out to a professional. It truly may be the best thing that you can do for them. 

 

This is a tough time. It is said to be one of the hardest of times in the past 100 years. Remember to be there for others and yourself. Together we will pull through.

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