Mental Health & Stress

Ways to manage stress and anxiety during the COVID 19 outbreak

Dodgeville, WI— March 20, 2020 The outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) may be stressful for people. Fear and anxiety about a disease can be overwhelming. Coping with stress will make you, the people you care about, and your community stronger.

Things to do to support yourself

  • Maintain connections with people who are important to you through virtual options (social networking, writing letters, etc.)
  • Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Activities to do while staying at home (regardless of activity, remember to practice social distancing and wash hands and surfaces)

  • Exercise, engage in physical activity (i.e. go for a walk)
  • Spring cleaning
  • Baking
  • Play cards or board games
  • Listen to your favorite podcast or “TED” talk
  • Send a card or note to a friend/local long-term care facility/military personnel
  • Donate items to your local food pantry
  • Pick up trash around your neighborhood
  • Yard work or gardening
  • Take an online education course (many colleges and universities are waiving tuition/fees for select courses)
  • Keep a daily journal about this experience
  • Start a hobby or activity that you have always wanted to try (there are many tutorials and how-to videos online)

If you are experiencing stress and/or anxiety, Unified Community Services (Behavioral Health and Crisis Services) are available. The Iowa County 24-hour crisis number is 1-800-362-5717. The National Suicide Hotline is 1-800-273-8255, or Text HOPELINE to 741741.