Stress is a normal part of life and a natural response to life’s unpredictable disruptions. If you’ve noticed an increase in your stress levels and anxiety, it’s important to recognize how it looks and feels in your body to best manage it! We know that stress can trigger eczema, so here are some ideas for reducing stress and anxiety related to the coronavirus.
- Reach out to those in your support system. Even when you can’t be physically near each other, being with loved ones over the phone, video or text chats provide critical connection and decompression.
- Reach out to your doctors and therapist, if you have one, for best practices to manage physical and mental wellbeing.
- Try matching every negative, fearful thought with two that are positive and grateful.
- When social media and news become overwhelming, limit your screen time and/or accept push notifications only from sources that are balanced and credible.
- Practice deep breathing and meditation. There are many meditation apps you can access online to begin or reinforce your practice.
- Integrate positive affirmations into your day.
- Carve out time each day for hobbies or activities that help regulate and calm your nervous system, such as cooking, sketching, running, yoga, listening to music, cuddling with a pet, meditating, etc.
- Encourage and empower your loved ones, family members and communities to share in protective hygiene practices — especially frequent hand-washing — to build confidence that you and your community can help to slow the spread of COVID-19 together.
- Know that you are not alone. Seek support through the NEA family and other networks you are part of. Engage in the conversation.
- Hold steadfast to the stress management practices that work for you and continue to seek out new ones to expand your toolbox.
Yes, viruses are contagious — as is panic, fear and hysteria. But so is love and laughter, lightness and strength. As your local communities and governments release press conferences and statements on COVID-19, remember that we are all in this together!