07 Jul Stress in a Time of COVID-19
Stress is a part of life. However, with COVID-19 being our new normal, along with the recent ongoing struggles for racial justice in the Black community, we have more to be stressed about than ever. Recognizing that you are feeling stressed or may potentially experience stress is important to finding relief.
There are no stages to moving through stress. Stress follows no rules. At times you may not realize that the reasons you feel or act as you do are stress-related. When something stresses us out we react emotionally and physically. Emotional reactions to stress can range from fear to sadness and even giddiness. Physical symptoms can include increased heart rate, nausea, diarrhea, headache and sleeplessness. Ignoring stress can cause more serious issues like high blood pressure, heart problems, and can even weaken our ability to fight off common illnesses like a cold or the flu.
Many of us are experiencing a whole different level of stress; one that we cannot even name and that is not always predictable. The normal things we could do prior to COVID-19, like going to the gym, the movies, or out with friends and family now come with dangers or scrutiny. But there are things we can do such as exercise, deep breathing, meditation and guided imagery. YouTube has several channels for relaxation music, ambient sounds, and imagery. Coloring, jigsaw puzzles, dancing or any form of mental and physical activity also can be helpful.
Even with mental and physical activities, you may find that you need someone to talk to about what’s happening. If you or your family are feeling like you need to reach out to someone, there are dedicated therapists and counselors who can provide support and a variety of helpful resources.
Due to social distancing guidelines and general health concerns, CHRIS 180 therapists are currently available for telemental health, counseling by video chat or telephone. Reaching out to a therapist can be a positive step forward in reducing stress and helping you and your loved ones through this stressful time.
Jacqueline Burnett-Brown, PhD, CDP, CDT is a counseling intern at CHRIS Counseling Center- DeKalb. To make an appointment please call 404-636-1457 or email intakeccdekalb@CHRIS180.org.