Lea esta página en español.

Fear and anxiety about COVID-19 can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adults and children.

Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations. Stress responses during an infectious disease outbreak can include:

  • Fear and worry about your own health and the health of your loved ones.
  • Changes in sleep or eating patterns.
  • Difficulty sleeping or concentrating.
  • Worsening of chronic health problems.
  • Increased use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs.

Middle age woman in deep thought

If you or someone you care about continues to show signs of stress and you are becoming concerned, you may want to reach out for help.

SAMHSA’s Disaster Distress Helpline, (800) 985-5990, provides 24/7, 365-day-a-year crisis counseling and support to people experiencing emotional distress related to natural or human-caused disasters.

For accurate, up-to-date information about COVID-19, please visit the CDC’s website.

Call the Alliance 24-hour Access and Information Center at (800) 510-9132 and a licensed clinician will assist you in finding the right kind of help.

Practical Tips for Taking Care of Yourself and Reducing Stress

Maintain virtual connections with others. Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling.

Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting.

Body movement helps to get rid of the buildup of extra stress hormones. Exercise once daily or in smaller amounts throughout the day. If you don’t like exercise, do something simple, like taking a walk, gently stretching, or meditating.

Make time to unwind. Try to do some other activities you enjoy such as listening to music, working in your garden, or reading.

Take care of your body. Make sure to get enough sleep and rest each day. Eat healthy meals and snacks and make sure to drink plenty of water. Avoid caffeine, tobacco, and alcohol. Take deep breaths. Deep breathing can move stress out of your body and help you to calm yourself. It can even help stop a panic attack. You may want to reach out for help if stress gets in the way of your daily activities for several days in a row.

Senior woman relaxing in park sitting on grass

Call the Alliance 24-hour Access and Information Center at (800) 510-9132 and a licensed clinician will assist you in finding the right kind of help.

Stress Flyer Thumbnails


Page last modified: April 2, 2020