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COVID-19 and Anxiety

COVID-19 and Anxiety

Ways to Cope with Strong Feelings Related to COVID-19

Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton, M.D., MPH, strongly offers these recommendations for coping with anxiety related to the COVID-19 outbreak:

  • Remember that distress, anxiety, fear, and strong emotions are normal in times of distress or crisis. Remind yourself and others that these feelings will fade.
     
  • Get information from a trusted source, such as coronavirus.ohio.gov or by calling the Ohio COVID-19 call center at 1-833-4-ASK-ODH (1-833-427-5634).
    • Learn and follow tips for preparing for and responding to COVID-19.
    • Learn and follow tips on how to prevent COVID-19.
       
  • Avoid excessive exposure to media coverage of COVID-19. It is important to get good information to help you prepare and respond, but don’t overwhelm yourself or your family with information.
     
  • Eat nutritious food, exercise, get adequate sleep, stay hydrated, avoid alcohol and drugs, and make time to relax and unwind.
     
  • Incorporate stretching or meditation into your routine. Take deep breaths when feeling overwhelmed.
     
  • Stay connected with friends and family. Discuss your concerns and be supportive of theirs.
     
  • Keep participating in hobbies/activities that do not expose you to close contact with others in confined spaces.
     
  • If you have a mental health condition, continue with your treatment plan and monitor for any new symptoms. Call your healthcare provider with any concerns.
     
  • Recognize signs of distress:
    • Feeling hopeless or helpless.
    • Feelings of numbness, disbelief, anxiety or fear.
    • Changes in appetite, energy, and activity levels.
    • Difficulty concentrating.
    • Difficulty sleeping or nightmares and upsetting thoughts and images.
    • Physical reactions, such as headaches, body pains, stomach problems, and skin rashes.
    • Worsening of chronic health problems.
    • Anger or short-temper.
    • Increased use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs.
  • Call your healthcare provider if your feelings overwhelm you for several days in a row.
     
  • Reach out for help:
    • Contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s national Disaster Distress Helpline by calling 1-800-985-5990 or texting TalkWithUs to 66746.
    • Reach the Ohio Crisis Text Line* by texting keyword 4HOPE to 741 741.
    • Reach the Ohio Mental Health and Addiction Services Help Line* at 1.877.275.6364
    • Find a provider at https://findtreatment.gov.

*These functions will remain operational and staffed.

Additional resources on mental health and COVID-19 can be found at mha.ohio.gov/coronavirus.

For additional COVID-19 information, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov.

For answers to your COVID-19 questions, call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH (1-833-427-5634).

Prevention Info-graphic

  • Stay home when you are sick
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick
  • Get adequate sleep and eat well-balanced meals
  • Wash hands often with water and soap (20 seconds or longer)
  • Dry hands with a clean towel or air dry your hands
  • Cover your mouth with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, mouth with unwashed hands or after touching surfaces
  • Clean and disinfect "High-Touch" surfaces often
  • Call before visiting your doctor
  • Practice good hygiene habits 


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