How to deal with Stress and Anxiety during COVID-19

The outbreak of COVID-19 may lead to stress and anxiety for some of us. Feeling overwhelmed by powerful emotions during times like these is understandable. Coping with distress and fear healthily will help ensure that you, your loved ones and everyone in our communities stay resilient during this time.

Check in with family, friends, neighbors, colleagues and loved ones. Do it by phone, SMS or online. It always helps to talk. Acknowledging your own feelings of distress and discussing this can also help you manage anxiety and stress.

Start a group chat, hang out through video conferencing, share pictures of your outfits or something positive that happened to you recently. Social distancing does not mean social isolation. Think of it as physical distancing instead.

While the places we hang out are temporarily unavailable, we can still keep in touch with our communities. Follow your favorite event/bar/club on social media, listen to a queer podcast, watch or read LGBTQ media. Fostering a sense of community is important.

Take a break from your newsfeed and focus on something else. Replace the time you spend on social media or watching the news with an activity that will nourish and entertain your heart and mind: read a book, indulge in your favorite TV show, bake some goodies or play a game on your phone.

If you are self-isolating, in quarantine or working from home, set and maintain routines. Make time for exercise using YouTube or a fitness app, cooking your favorite meals, getting in touch with friends. If you are working remotely, allocate specific work hours and take regular breaks.

A creative project will help focus the mind. Dust off your painting kit or reorganize your décor. Do an online language course or download a yoga app. There are thousands of tutorials on YouTube on just about any hobby – so why not learn how to knit, draw, dance? The digital world is your oyster.

It is natural to be affected by the outbreak of any unknown disease. Just remember that, for most people, the symptoms of COVID-19 are mild and similar to a flu. Our country has one of the world’s best healthcare systems. Everything is being done to ensure communities are safe.

Happiness is helping others, and it is also good for your mental health. Look out for those in your own personal networks who may need support. Look in on your mates to see if you can help with essential supplies, or send an order of goodies to someone who may do it tough.

This is temporary. We enforce physical distancing measures to slow the spread of COVID-19. We must all play our part. Our communities have rallied together in times of adversity to care for each other before, and we will do so again. We are all in this together.

We know that some people may find the current environment challenging and overwhelming. Feelings of stress, anxiety and distress are common in the uncertainty of COVID-19. FKSG is here for our communities needing support and help with their mental health.