Healthy Habits and Resources For Dealing With Stress
Feeling anxious or showing signs of stress is common during stressful times, such as an infectious outbreak like COVID-19. Recognize signs of stress, encourage healthy habits and stress-relief methods, and use appropriate resources when help is needed.1 Start with the methods below. See the chart on the second page for additional resources, especially when a higher-level intervention may be needed. Call 911 in an emergency or if someone appears to be in crisis.
Encourage Healthy Ways to Relieve Stress
• Stay up to date on what is going on in the world but avoid overexposure to the news.*
• Use reputable sources for information (e.g., national organizations, government resources).*
• Stay connected with friends and family.* Consider these options when face-to-face visits are not possible: phone calls, video chats, text messages, etc.
• Get plenty of sleep and practice a healthy lifestyle:*
o eat healthy foods and drink plenty of water
o limit alcohol and caffeine intake
o avoid tobacco and illegal drugs
o exercise regularly (e.g., walking, running, biking, online fitness classes)
• Practice relaxation* (e.g., reading, listening to music, meditation, mindfulness apps [see below]).
• Consider the use of apps and other online support options (see examples below).
Examples of Relaxation or Mindfulness Apps (available for download on Android and iOS)
• CBT-I Coach: helps with anxiety and insomnia
• Moodpath: helps with depression and/or anxiety
• Mindfulness Coach: learn mindfulness and meditation skills to help with depression and anxiety
• PTSD Coach: helps address trauma
• Mindshift: helps teens and young adults who have depression or anxiety
Examples of Online Support Options
• Health Unlocked (https://healthunlocked.com/anxiety-depression-support/about): online anxiety and depression support group through the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.
• Mood Disorders Society of Canada Forum (http://www.mdsc.ca/forum/): online forums for a variety of topics including general mood disorders, bipolar disorder, depression, addiction, etc.
NOTE: Users of this resource are cautioned to use their own judgment and consult any other necessary or appropriate sources prior to making clinical judgments based on the content of this document.
All text, information, and tables sourced from: Clinical Resource,Dealing With Stress: Healthy Habits and Resources. Pharmacist’s Letter/Prescriber’s Letter.May 2020.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Coping with stress during infectious disease outbreaks. 2014. https://store.samhsa.gov/product/Coping-with-Stress-During-Infectious-Disease-Outbreaks/sma14-4885. (Accessed April 15, 2020).