We have entered into unchartered territory with the COVID-19 pandemic and it is affecting different people in different ways. Many adults are dealing with fear and anxiety over the unknown and mysteries around COVID-19. Others may have gradually increased the frequency of self-medicating with alcohol or substances.
Children are feeling it too, so it is critical for adults to develop some healthy ways of coping with the stress so they can minimize the uncertainty their children may be experiencing.
Get immediate help in a crisis
- Call 911
- Call the Disaster Distress Helpline: (800) 985-5990 (press 2 for Spanish)
- Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: (800) 273-TALK (for English) or 888 628 9454 (for Spanish)
Find a health care provider or treatment for substance abuse use disorder and mental health
- Call SAMHSA’s National helpline (800) 662-HELP
- Call the EAP department at your employer (if offered) or Customer Service number on the back of your Insurance card to be directed to the right provider
People who may respond more strongly to the stress of a crisis include:
- People in high-risk categories (old age or those with underlying conditions)
- Children and Teens
- Caregivers, Frontline workers, Essential workers
- People who have mental health or substance abuse conditions
- People who have lost their jobs or have fear of losing their jobs
- People who live in multi-generational households
Healthy ways of dealing with stress include:
- Knowing what to do when you’re sick or how to recognize signs of illness in others (including the typical COVID-19 symptoms as well as indicators of mental health or substance abuse)
- Knowing when and where to get treatment. Find out the closest location for COVID-19 rapid testing and/or the locations with the best recommendations on wait time and cleanliness.
- Taking breaks from watching, reading or listening to news stories that could be adding to your anxiety. Hearing about nothing else but the pandemic can be unsettling. Read a book or article that instead speaks to your interests (travel, art, sports, business, industry, etc.)
- Take care of your body and mind by:
- Deep Breaths or Meditation
- Stretching and / or going for a power walk
- Eating well-balanced meals on time
- Get plenty of sleep
- Connect with friends or family members via Face-time or phone
- Keep up with faith-based activities (online church services or through Take care of your body and mind by:
- Know the facts about COVID-19 and help stop the spread of rumors
- Call your health care provider if stress gets in the way of daily activities for an extended number of consecutive days or seek out a counselor in the community to talk with.