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Coronavirus Anxiety: Coping with Stress, Fear, and Uncertainty

by | Apr 5, 2020 | Human Interest

From time to time, team members will share their views stimulated from a piece by an industry thought leader. Here, our Director of Paid Marketing, Kim Figor, discusses a Help Guide. article by Melinda Smith, M.A., and Lawrence Robinson “Coronavirus Anxiety: Coping with Stress, Fear, and Uncertainty”.

This is definitely an interesting, and to varying degrees for each person, a stressful time people and business around the world are living in. What exactly is causing all this stress? Most likely, it’s not just one thing, other than the uncertainty of everything. Apart from words like pandemic (which most of us have heard before) and the health implication on society, there is another layer which is what keeps me awake at night. I’m referring to how this Coronavirus is impacting, mostly our clients, but all businesses.

The main purpose for this article is to provide suggestions to help anyone and everyone reduce the stress they may be experiencing during this crisis. But, first, let me reassure businesses that this too shall pass. There are ways to minimize the impacts on your business or even use this situation to your advantage. If you are a business and not sure what to do or wondering how you will survive, reach out to DirectiveGroup and together we can figure out how to ensure you not only survive, but in the end, prosper.

Here are 6 strategies that will help you reduce the impact of stress during these uncertain times (or anytime).

  1. Stay informed—but don’t obsessively check the news 
  • Stick to trustworthy sources.
  • Limit how often you check for updates.
  • Step away from media if you start feeling overwhelmed.
  • Ask someone reliable to share important updates.
  • Be careful what you share.
  1. Focus on the things you can control 
  • Washing your hands frequently (for at least 20 seconds) with soap and water or a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoiding touching your face (particularly your eyes, nose, and mouth).
  • Staying home as much as possible, even if you don’t feel sick.
  • Avoiding crowds and gatherings of 10 or more people.
  • Avoiding all non-essential shopping and travel.
  • Keeping 6 feet of distance between yourself and others when out.
  • Getting plenty of sleep, which helps support your immune system.
  • Following all recommendations from health authorities.
  1. Plan for what you can 
  • Write down specific worries you have about how coronavirus may disrupt your life. If you start feeling overwhelmed, take a break.
  • Make a list of all the possible solutions you can think of. Try not to get too hung up on “perfect” options. Include whatever comes to mind that could help you get by.
  • Focus on concrete things you can problem solve or change, rather than circumstances beyond your control.
  • After you’ve evaluated your options, draw up a plan of action. When you’re done, set it aside and resist the urge to go back to it until you need it or your circumstances significantly change.
  1. Stay connected—even when physically isolated 
  • Make it a priority to stay in touch with friends and family. If you tend to withdraw when depressed or anxious, think about scheduling regular phone, chat, or Skype dates to counteract that tendency.
  • While in-person visits are limited, substitute video chatting if you’re able. Face-to-face contact is like a “vitamin” for your mental health, reducing your risk of depression and helping ease stress and anxiety.
  • Social media can be a powerful tool—not only for connecting with friends, family, and acquaintances—but for feeling connected in a greater sense to our communities, country, and the world. It reminds us we’re not alone.
  • Take care of your body and spirit
  • This is an extraordinarily trying time, and all the tried-and-true stress management strategiesapply, such as eating healthy meals, getting plenty of sleep, and meditating. Beyond that, here are some tips for practicing self-care in the face of the unique disruptions caused by the coronavirus.
  • Be kind to yourself.
  • Maintain a routine as best you can.
  • Take time out for activities you enjoy.
  • Get out in nature, if possible.
  • Find ways to exercise.
  • Avoid self-medicating.
  1. Help others (it will make you feel better)

Even when you’re self-isolating or maintaining social distance, there’s still plenty you can do to help others.

  • Follow guidelines for preventing the spread of the virus.
  • Reach out to others in need.
  • Donate to food banks.
  • Be a calming influence.
  • Be kind to others.


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