As I’m writing to you, humanity is in uncharted waters.

The outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) has caused stress, fear, and anxiety and forced us to change our daily lives. Feelings of fear and anxiety can be overwhelming and generate strong emotions. 

Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations.

Reactions during an outbreak like COVID-19 can look like:

  • Fear and worry for yourself and your loved ones
  • Changes in sleep or eating patterns
  • Difficulty sleeping or concentrating
  • Worsening of chronic health problems
  • Worsening of mental health conditions
  • Increased use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs

It’s natural for stress that can lead to burnout or emotional trauma. But recognizing signs of stress and using coping techniques can help. Developing coping strategies will make you, the people you care about, and your community stronger.


To cope with stress, try implementing these 7 strategies:


1. Take Care of Your Body

Our emotions live in our bodies, so take good care of yours! Here are some important ways to look after your body: 


  • Maintain a regular sleep schedule—try to go to sleep and wake up at roughly the same time
  • Work towards maintaining proper nutrition and regular meals
  • Limit alcohol and caffeine intake
  • Get some exercise


2. Maintain Social Connections

Social connection is good for us too! Maintain social distance, but stay in touch with friends, or spend time with your four-legged friends. Some snuggle time with your pets can make a tough day a lot easier. You might even try writing letters to stay in touch with friends during social distancing!


3. Develop A Routine

Maintain a schedule for meals, classes or work, and relaxation time. Having a routine helps us contain emotions and feel a sense of control. 

4. Maintain Perspective 

While this is a huge event for everyone, remind yourself of what’s good in your life. Maintain your perspective by refocusing on what’s important: health, friends, being able to continue towards your degree, religion, and spirituality. 


5. Acknowledge Your Experience 

Consider keeping a journal about what this experience is like for you. But be sure to end your daily entry with three good things about the day, however small, to help keep your spirits up. 


6. Shift Your Focus

 Take the focus off of yourself or the discouraging information. Take a moment to do something kind for someone else. If you can’t visit in person, call! 


7. Find Resources

Look through the free resources on Seeking Hope’s store, as well as the Seeking Hope Podcast, and other blog posts. There’s a lot of useful information there!

Consider making use of one of the many mental health apps and available online meeting options. You might find Seeking Hope’s emotional first aid telecoaching useful in finding something that speaks to you.

Here are some other helpful resources to support your mental and emotional wellbeing:


Preparing & Transitioning Out of Quarantine

Everyone feels differently after coming out of quarantine. You may experience mixed emotions, including a sense of relief.

Emotional reactions to coming out of quarantine may include

  • Mixed emotions, including relief
  • Fear and worry about your health and the health of your loved ones
  • Stress from monitoring yourself or being monitored by others for signs and symptoms of the disease
  • Guilt about not being able to perform normal work or parenting duties during the quarantine


As quarantine begins to end, we’ll be adapting to a new normal in our lives.

Take time to focus on the ways you can help yourself and your loved ones move through the traumas of the moment and develop the skills needed to rise through the crisis. 



Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

World Health Organization (WHO)

CDC Manage Anxiety and Stress