You’re not alone
COVID-19 is a stressor unlike any in human history. Virtually all of us on the planet are experiencing this stress together. We are facing loss and concerns such as: for our own health and that of our loved ones, the lockdown of our societies, finding resources for daily needs, isolation, streams of bad news, and worries about our finances and livelihoods.
Psychologist Michelle Craske, co-director of the Depression Grand Challenge, refers to the current situation as a “perfect storm” for stress and anxiety.
Stress, anxiety and sadness are universal responses to the current crisis.
Feeling stressed, sad and anxious right now? Well, that’s something we all share. We feel nervous for ourselves, for our loved ones and others we care about like neighbors and coworkers.
And because as humans we are social animals, we can’t help but feel stress and anxiety when we hear about bad things happening to other people. This is why anxiety can become “contagious” in its own right, spreading rapidly through our communities.
But importantly, as bad as it can feel, a certain level of anxiety is actually a good thing and important to our survival. We’re all born with an instinct to protect ourselves whenever we feel threatened; and the COVID-19 pandemic is a genuine threat to our safety and well-being. Stress and anxiety motivate us to do things that we need to do to take care of ourselves, like staying at home and physically distancing.
Stress, anxiety and sadness affect the way we think, feel and behave
We each react to stress differently. It may affect our bodies, thoughts and behaviors. Examples of some common reactions are below:
Racing heart, jumpiness, panic attack, muscle tension, low mood, excessive energy, sadness
Repeated negative thoughts, repeated worrisome thoughts, sense of dread or doom
Irritability, restlessness, difficulty sleeping, problems concentrating, disengaging from normal activities, neediness, avoiding people, using drugs and alcohol to numb ourselves, compulsively purchasing supplies, difficulty getting out of bed, obsessively watching and reading news
Are you or is someone close to you experiencing some or all of these? Well, that’s both normal and to be expected given our current experience with COVID-19.
Creation of the COVID-19 Care Package
In response to the enormous and immediate need for support, in partnership with BeyGOOD we created the COVID-19 Care Package to share tools and strategies to help with anxiety, stress and sadness. We care for you. We are all in this together and, together, we will get through this.