Coping with Stress & Anxiety

Fear and anxiety about the COVID-19 pandemic can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions.

Things you can do to support yourself:

  • Pray. Begin the day with your favorite Scripture reading. Attend daily Mass online.
  • Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories and social media. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting.
  • Take care of your body. Take deep breaths, stretch, or meditate. Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep, and avoid alcohol and drugs.
  • Make time to unwind. Try to do some other activities you enjoy.
  • Connect with others. Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling.
  • Call your healthcare provider if stress gets in the way of your daily activities for several days in a row.
  • If you, or someone you care about, are feeling overwhelmed with emotions like sadness, depression, or anxiety, or feel like you want to harm yourself or others call
    • 911
    • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA’s) Disaster Distress Helpline: 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746. (TTY 1-800-846-8517)
  • Visit: www.virusanxiety.com to find answers to anxiety-related questions, free meditations and breathing exercises, and a multitude of other free resources to help navigate these difficult times.
  • Play soothing music, like this audio file, while you work:
Soothing music may aid in relaxation.

Caring for your mental health may include:

  • Separating what is in your control from what is not. There are things you can do, and it’s helpful to focus on those.
  • Doing what helps you feel a sense of safety. This will be different for everyone, and it’s important not to compare yourself to others.
  • Getting outside in nature–even if you are avoiding crowds. Exercise helps both your physical and mental health.
  • Challenging yourself to stay in the present. When you find yourself worrying about something that hasn’t happened, gently bring yourself back to the present moment.
  • Staying connected and reach out if you need more support. Talk to trusted friends about what you are feeling. It’s ok to reach out to a mental health professional for support.