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4 Ways to Cope with the Stress of COVID-19

Since its conception in 1992, Stress Awareness Month has been held every April.  Sponsored by the Health Resource Network, Inc, it’s a time when healthcare professionals from across the country join forces to increase public awareness about not only the causes, but also the treatments for the growing stress epidemic in our country. And this year more than ever, as coronavirus continues to spread, so do anxieties about COVID-19, the illness it causes.

According to a recent poll by ABC News and The Washington Post, 70% of respondents reported feeling personal stress as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. Nearly 7 in 10 Americans also said they are worried that they or an immediate family member will soon be infected and fear the uncertainty of how the outbreak will affect them socially and economically. So, as cases continue to multiply, so does Americans' stress and anxiety.

People handle stress in many different ways.  Some symptoms of stress include headaches, insomnia, digestive issues and anger.  Prolonged or chronic stress can also lead to more serious issues such as high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes.  Unchecked, stress can also lead to debilitating anxiety and depression. But there are some practical steps you can take to decrease your stress level and improve your wellbeing.

Be safe and prepared, but don’t panic:

From the news to social media, a lot of information is circulating about the coronavirus. Some is true, but much of it may be misinformed or only partly correct, especially as information rapidly changes. Listen only to credible sources such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or the World Health Organization to obtain up-to-date, scientific information about the illness. Make sure you and your family are following the CDC guidelines for prevention. Knowing you and your family are taking healthy actions can reduce stress and make you feel safer.

Exercise:

Any type of physical activity, even 20-30 minutes a day of walking is a great stress reliever and a good way to get your mind off your daily worries.

Relaxation:

Learn to incorporate some relaxation techniques into your daily life.  Meditation, journaling, yoga and breathing exercises are just a few ways to find a moment of escape and to reduce those stress hormones.

Eat right:

One way to keep your immune system strong is by maintaining a balanced diet. Everyone deserves a treat now and then, but for the majority of your day, try incorporating more lean meats, whole grains, fruits and veggies into your diet to keep your energy sources up and your body functioning as it should.

We all have stressors in our daily lives, especially now!  But chronic stress can really take a toll on your health.  At AFC we are committed serving the needs of our patients, both mentally and physically. Let our friendly staff assist you with your symptoms by visiting www.afcurgentcare.com to find a location near you.

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