It's normal to feel stressed when faced with times of uncertainty, but there are things you can do at home to help! Try these tips for identifying the symptoms and finding some relief.
Follow these guidelines to reduce stress:
- Recognize the symptoms of stress. Common symptoms can include headaches, rapid heartbeat, chest pains, problems sleeping, irritability, anxiety, upset stomach, back and neck pain, overeating or loss of appetite, forgetfulness, and fatigue.
- Pay attention to how stress affects you. For example, noting that your first instinct is to reach for the cookie jar when stressed will help you plan healthier alternatives to have on hand for your next snack attack.
- Exercise. The American Heart Association recommends getting 150 minutes of cardiovascular exercise a week (that's five days of 30 minutes each day). Even with current guidelines for staying at home, you can still go for a walk around your neighborhood, so long as you keep a minimum distance of six feet from those you might encounter.
- Stay focused on your life and family. If you are at home with your family, search online for fun activities you can do together to have something to look forward to and help with monotony. Use video and phone calls to stay in touch with loved ones who live elsewhere.
- Don't take it out on the ones you love. A lot of families are experiencing new levels of togetherness right now. Encourage each other to take breaks in your own space when needed.
- Find healthy ways to escape. Try new recipes as a family, take this time to learn a new hobby, work on projects around the house you've been meaning to do, or research a vacation destination you'd like to visit in the future.
- Focus on the good. Start a gratitude journal or ask your family to get in the habit of sharing one thing a day each of you are thankful for. It's a helpful way to stay grounded.
- Take breaks from social media and the news. While it's important to stay informed, most of us are dealing with information overload right now, so taking breaks is important, especially around bed time.
- Find purpose in your days. Staying home can be monotonous, so keep a schedule and find purpose in work, hobbies, taking care of family, or checking in by phone with elderly neighbors.
- Ask for help. The Christ Hospital Physcians are still available see you, now also via video visits. If you or a loved one is having thoughts of suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or text 741741.
If you've tried some of these tips and are still feeling overwhelmed, reach out to your primary care provider for additional support or assistance.