Sat | Jan 16, 2021

Letter of the Day | Manage anxiety and stress, take care of others

Published:Monday | October 12, 2020 | 12:06 AM

THE EDITOR, Madam:

Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations like the COVID-19 pandemic. This can be a time of strong emotions in both adults and children. One may feel anxious, angry, sad, or be overwhelmed.

Learn the common signs of stress, such as changes in sleep, eating patterns, difficulty concentrating, worsening of chronic health problems, and increased use of alcohol, tobacco or other drugs.

• Find ways to reduce your stress to help yourself and the people you care about.

• Take breaks from news stories, including social media.

• Take care of your body.

• Take deep breaths, stretch or meditate.

• Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals.

• Exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep, and avoid alcohol and drugs.

• Take time to unwind.

• Allow the mind to connect with your body; for example, by walking barefooted on grass, or by enjoying the breeze or sunset.

• Try to do activities you enjoy.

• Connect with others by phone, text or email.

• Share your concerns and feelings with people you trust.

• Control the things you can control; e.g., we can wear mask and practice good hygiene; and for those things you cannot control, you can change your attitude towards it.

• Speak positive things to yourselves.

If you or someone you know has pre-existing mental health conditions, continue with the treatment, and be aware of new or worsening symptoms. Contact a healthcare provider with any concerns or if stress gets in the way of daily activities for several days in a row.

GETTING HELP

If you or someone you care about are feeling overwhelmed, having emotions like sadness, depression or anxiety, get support by contacting the helpline for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention at 888-NEW-LIFE (888-639-543), or find a healthcare provider for treatment of substance use disorder and mental health. Learn more at the Ministry of Health and Wellness website and the Bellevue Hospital’s website. Additionally, the Ministry of Health and Wellness provides COVID-19 resources and protocols.

Let’s take care of ourselves, our family and our communities.

Coping with stress in a healthy way will make you, the people you care about, and your community stronger.

ANDRE DAVIS

Psychologist, Bellevue Hospital