People respond to the outbreak differently depending on their background. People who may react more strongly to the stress include older people with chronic diseases, medical responders such as doctors, nurses and other health care providers as well as patients who have mental health conditions including problems with substance use. Nevertheless, everyone can face cumulative stress while dealing with the situation. These recommendations significantly help to manage stress associated with COVID-19 outbreak.
- Stay informed but calm and do not panic
Being excessively stressed can lead to long-term effects including feeling emptiness and hopelessness, resulting in inappropriate decision making and responses such as intentional self-harm, suicidal thought, resignation, relocation, getting a divorce, impaired judgment and risk-taking behaviors as well as poor relationship with friends, family and colleagues. It is highly recommended not to make any important decision during this moment. Only continuing daily life with extra care and staying away from infections are crucial.
- Know the facts to help reduce stress
Excessive consumption of news on the pandemic must be avoided. If necessary, checking updates only once a day is sufficient to prevent overwhelming feelings. Taking breaks from watching, reading or listening to stories including social media is advised. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting. In fact, sharing accurate information about COVID-19 obtained from reliable resources can make an outbreak less stressful.
- Comply with preventive measures and disease control policy instructed by health authorities
Instructions and measures announced by health authorities and government must be strictly followed. These include personal hygiene, frequent handwashing, social distancing, wearing masks and avoiding exposure to endemic areas or suspected cases.
- ake care of mental health
Not only physical health and well-being, but mental health should be also well looked after. Warning signs of mental illness must be closely observed such as feeling depressed or hopeless, sleep disturbance, changes in eating patterns, emotional fluctuation and increased alcohol intake. If any abnormal sign presents, medical assistance should be provided as soon as possible. Delayed consultation may result in chronic stress with long-term health impacts. People with preexisting mental health conditions should continue with their treatments and be aware of new or worsening symptoms that might arise.
5 Make time to unwind
Although this crisis limits the freedom and flexibility of our lives, to get rid of stress, people should continue living as usual as possible. If boredom develops during a 14-day quarantine time, some joyful activities should be considered. In addition, healthy habits should be regularly maintained
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