Coping with Stress During the Coronavirus

For Help Now Call Tillamook County Family Counseling Center’s Local 24-hour helpline at 800-962-2851 or 503-842-8201
The COVID-19 pandemic has had far-reaching impacts on all aspects of our lives, and it is normal to feel anxious and to experience stress from all the daily changes. While we continue to “stay home” to stay safe and healthy, the anxiety and stress reactions can take a toll emotionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually. It’s important to recognize the impact of these reactions in yourself and others, and to be intentional about coping with stress in a constructive way and know how to get support. To get started with support—don’t wait until you are in crisis to learn ways to cope.

How to Relieve Stress and Keep things in perspective:
Set limits on how much time you spend reading or watching news about the outbreak; stay up to date on news of the outbreak, but make sure to take time away from the news to focus on things in your life that are going well and that you can control.
Get the facts:
Find people and resources you can depend on for accurate health information. Learn from them about the outbreak and how you can protect yourself against illness, if you are at risk. Turn to credible resources such as the Oregon Health Authority’s coronavirus webpage ( to get accurate information on the virus and preparedness to prevent the spread, and the CDC’s coronavirus website.

Keep yourself healthy:
• Eat healthy foods, and drink water.
• Avoid excessive amounts of caffeine and alcohol.
• Do not use tobacco or illegal drugs.
• Get enough sleep and rest.
• Get physical exercise.

Use practical ways to relax:
Relax your body often by doing things that work for you—take deep breaths, stretch, meditate, or engage in your favorite hobbies. Pace yourself between stressful activities, splash some water on your face, do a fun thing after a hard task. Use time off to relax—eat a good meal, read, listen to music, take a bath, or talk to family. Be sure to talk about your feelings to loved ones and friends often.

Pay attention to your body, feelings, and spirit:
Recognize and heed early warning signs of stress. Know that feeling stressed, depressed, guilty, or angry is common during a crisis like this, even when it does not directly threaten you. Share your feelings with others and make sure to have and enjoy conversations unrelated to the virus. Remind yourself of the important and positive things in your lives. Take time to renew yourself through meditation, prayer, yoga, talking with friends and family, taking a walk or helping others in need. Focus on the things that you can do during these uncertain times.

Focus on Prevention:
Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds. If this is not available, use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw it away and wash your hands. If tissues aren’t available, cough or sneeze into your elbow, not into your hands. Routinely clean all frequently touched surfaces at home and work. Please, stay home especially if you are sick. Wear a face covering or mask when you do go out, and if you are in the vulnerable population consider having friends or neighbors run errands for you. As re-opening begins, the efforts that have kept the counts low in Tillamook County must continue – only go out for necessary trips, wear a mask and maintain 6 foot physical distancing.

For Help Now call Tillamook County Family Counseling Center’s Local 24-hour helpline at 800-962-2851 or 503-842-8201
Help is Available – for other resources:
•Lines for Life Suicide Hotline 877-273-8255
•Red Nacional para la Prevención de Suicidio – 888-628-9454
•Trevor Project/LGBTQ – 866-488-7386
•Veterans – 800-273-8255 ext. 1
•Feeling Lonely? Need Someone to talk to, call Oregon Warmline – 800-698-2392