It’s normal to feel worried during times of stress, and many people struggle with anxiety in the best of times. Those feelings have been amplified for many during these unusual times we are living through together during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Here are some steps you can take to manage anxiety and lower your stress.
Get the facts.
Go to trusted sources. Check the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website at cdc.gov and the World Health Organization (WHO) website at who.int to learn more. Having good information and knowing what you can do can help you feel more in control. For the latest information on COVID-19 activity in Kansas, please see: https://govstatus.egov.com/coronavirus
Be wary of social media. People often share false information that’s unhelpful and can feed your anxiety.
Take care of yourself.
Stay on a regular schedule. Sticking with your normal routines can be reassuring. Go to bed and get up at your normal times. Eat meals at your usual times. If you’re working from home, dress as you normally would.
Eat healthy, balanced meals. Don’t over do caffeine, and limit or avoid alcohol. Get enough sleep. And rest if you need to.
Stay active. If you can, go for a walk or a bike ride. If you can’t get outside, find ways to be active indoors. For example, you might look for online exercise classes or put on some music and dance.
Be good to yourself.
Take breaks from media. Limit the amount of time you spend on your phone or computer, reading news about the virus. Focusing too much on it can raise your anxiety level.
Do things that help you relax. Maybe it’s stretching, meditation, or deep breathing. Or maybe it’s taking a warm bath, reading a good book, or doing a hobby you enjoy.
Keep in touch with your support network. Sharing your feelings with friends and family may help you feel better. Your listening and support can be helpful to them too.
Reach out if you need more help. Many therapists can do counseling by phone or online. You could also look for an online support group.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas partners with New Directions to provide behavioral health screenings, resources and support to our members and employees. BCBSKS members who are seeking behavioral health support can contact New Directions to help find in-network doctors, locate community resources, and define and achieve your goals when it comes to mental health.