Updated on 03/31/2020, 3:45 PM EST

It’s safe to say that everyone has stress in their lives. But we all handle stress differently.

The coronavirus outbreak creates its own special type of stress because of so many unknown factors. You can’t see the virus. Many times, you can’t tell if someone has been infected. You don’t even know how your body will handle the infection, if you are exposed.

Add to that the anxiety associated with preparing. Will you need to work from home or go into the office? How many supplies do you need to have? How will you cope with social distancing?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the people who may respond more strongly to stress during a crisis include:

  • Older people and people with chronic diseases who are at higher risk for coronavirus
  • Children and teens
  • Responders to the coronavirus, such as doctors, other health care professionals and first responders
  • People who have mental health conditions, including problems with substance abuse

Stress and anxiety during a disease outbreak can result in people exhibiting the following symptoms:

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

The CDC recommends the following things you can do to reduce your stress and anxiety during the coronavirus outbreak:

  • Take breaks from watching, listening or reading news stories, including social media
  • Take care of your body – take deep breaths, stretch or meditate
  • Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals
  • Get regular exercise
  • Stick to your sleep routine
  • Avoid alcohol and drugs
  • Make time to unwind and try to do some of the activities you enjoy
  • Even while practicing social distancing, connect with others – talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling
  • Share accurate information from reliable sources, such as the CDC

Click here for more information from the CDC on reducing stress and anxiety during the coronavirus pandemic.

EmployeeConnect
AmeriLife offers all employees and their families access to EmployeeConnect*, a platform providing real-life support with helpful resources and confidential counseling. With EmployeeConnect, employees can receive confidential assistance to help manage life’s challenges, including the challenges associated with the coronavirus pandemic.

To log into EmployeeConnect: www.GuidanceResources.com.

User name: LFGsupport
Password: LFGsupport1

Call EmployeeConnect at 888-628-4824

*EmployeeConnect is available to ALL AmeriLife employees, working 30 or more hours a week, and their dependents, whether or not they’re enrolled in the company health plan.

Additional Resources


Quick Expert Tips and Strategies to Manage Coronavirus Anxiety | A 5-minute video from the Anxiety and Depression Association of America that answers clients questions.

Mindfulness during the coronavirus: Harvard professor’s tips to help lower anxiety | An ABC News interview with Dr. Luana Marques, a clinical psychologist and professor at Harvard Medical School, on using mindfulness to stay grounded and healthy.

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