Posted: 19 March 2020

Coronavirus Covid-19 and coping with stressful situations

The sudden disruption and uncertainty caused by a virus outbreak can be very stressful, especially for young people who may already experience stress at home or are worried about their health or the health of others.

The closure of schools puts added stress on families as many parents will lose income as they juggle work and childcare. The scale of the challenge will need an emergency response and we will do everything we can to support the Government, local authorities and schools in this uncertain time.

However, we must also make sure we do the small things to look after ourselves and the ones around us. Here are some useful ways to help cope with stress we may be experiencing:

Advice for managing and coping with stress

1. Stay active

Although many of us will be isolating and social distancing, it's important to stay active. Taking a bit of time out to exercise can be a useful method of relieving stress. The type of exercise depends on you but yoga helps a lot of people with their mental well-being, and there are lots of yoga tutorials online for all levels.

2. Talk it through

Talking to someone and sharing stories is a good way to get things off the chest. They may offer some good advice, which will help you see things in a different way and relieve your stress. If you're at home, set up regular video calls with friends or consider online chats with a trained counsellor.

3. Plan your downtime

Blocking out a few hours for relaxing is really important to make sure you get the rest you need. If you're studying at home, it's too easy to stretch those study/work hours but if you've got some 'me time' booked in, it's easier to stick to it. Try stick to the routine you might have at school with regular breaks for food and downtime.

4. Keep achieving 

It's important you don't let stress affect other areas of your life. Keep learning new things, building confidence and you will become more emotionally resilient and able to deal with stress. If you've got more time at home, why not pick up that hobby you never used to have time for? Or finish that book you started a few summers ago?

5. Be healthy

Staying healthy or at least not relying on unhealthy habits as a coping mechanism will help you deal with stress in the long run. For example, eating well and getting a good night's rest will give your body and mind more of a chance of coping with pressure. 

6. Stay positive

Don't be too hard on yourself and try to remember that stressful experiences are a fact of life. The reporting on this outbreak is understandably overwhelming and many people will be experiencing similar emotions as you. Think of things you have to look forward to and maybe make some plans for when you get back to your regular routine. 

7. Be mindful

Many people find meditation and breathing exercises useful tools for coping with stress. There are various apps like Calm that can help you if you're not too sure where to start. 

8. Avoid media

Try not to watch too much news or spend too much time on social media. A lot of the reports will create feelings of anxiety and stress. Get your information from a trusted source such as World Health Organization or NHS and concentrate on the facts.

For our latest information regarding Coronavirus Covid-19, please see our support hub offering advice and resources for young people who are affected by the outbreak. 

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