Stress and trauma can cause lifelong distress and discomfort. The good news is that healing and recovery are possible, and that resiliency can be developed and nourished.
Stress can be an indicator of trauma. Healing from trauma involves using coping skills for managing stress. We have all had some degree of stress since the pandemic began. There are ways to identify stress and manage the impacts both in the short and long-term. Some of this information can be found on a site provided by the Center for Disease Control. Coping With Stress During COVID-19
Public health actions, such as social distancing, are necessary to reduce the spread of COVID-19, but they can make us feel isolated and lonely and can increase stress and anxiety. Learning to cope with stress in a healthy way will make you, the people you care about, and those around you become more resilient.
Stress can cause the following:
- Feelings of fear, anger, sadness, worry, numbness, or frustration
- Changes in appetite, energy, desires, and interests
- Difficulty concentrating and making decisions
- Difficulty sleeping or nightmares
- Physical reactions, such as headaches, body pains, stomach problems, and skin rashes
- Worsening of chronic health problems
- Worsening of mental health conditions
- Increased use of tobacco, alcohol , and other substances
It is natural to feel stress, anxiety, grief, and worry during the COVID-19 pandemic. Here are some healthy ways to cope with stress:
- Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including those on social media. It’s good to be informed but hearing about the pandemic constantly can be upsetting. Consider limiting news to just a couple times a day and disconnecting from phone, tv, and computer screens for a while.
- Take care of your body.
- Take deep breaths, stretch, or meditate.
- Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals.
- Exercise regularly.
- Get plenty of sleep.
- Avoid excessive alcohol, tobacco, and substance use.
- Continue with routine preventive measures (such as vaccinations, cancer screenings, etc.) as recommended by your healthcare provider.
- Get vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine.
- 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.
- Connect with your community- or faith-based organizations. While social distancing measures are in place, try connecting online, through social media, or by phone or mail.
- If you are struggling to cope, there are many ways to get help. Call your healthcare provider if stress gets in the way of your daily activities for several days in a row.
- During times of extreme stress, people may have thoughts of suicide. Suicide is preventable and help is available. Read more about the risk of suicide, signs to watch for, and how to respond if you notice these signs in yourself or a loved one. Warning Signs of Suicide
- Helping others cope. Taking care of yourself can better equip you to take care of others. During times of social distancing, it is especially important to stay connected with your friends and family. Helping others cope with stress through phone calls or video chats can help you and your loved ones feel less lonely or isolated.
- Free and confidential crisis resources can also help you or a loved one connect with a skilled, trained counselor in your area.
If you are in crisis, get immediate help:
- Call 911 (emergency)
- Call 211
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255) for English, 1-888-628-9454 for Spanish, or Lifeline Crisis Chat
- National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233 or text LOVEIS to 22522
- National Child Abuse Hotline: 1-800-4AChild (1-800-422-4453) or text 1-800-422-4453
- National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) or Online Chat
- Veteran’s Crisis Line: 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or Crisis Chat or text: 8388255
- Disaster Distress Helpline: CALL or TEXT 1-800-985-5990 (press 2 for Spanish).
- The Eldercare Locator: 1-800-677-1116 – TTY Instructions
Please take this opportunity to donate to Trauma Responsive Frederick to support the educational, operational, and advocacy activities. We need your help! Thank you. Click here: Trauma Responsive Frederick Fund (frederickcountygives.org)