Getting Through the Stress of the Pandemic


Like nothing we’ve seen in recent history, we as a human family are collectively facing a challenge.

And, with the challenge of the coronavirus and everything it is bringing upon us, comes stress. We watch the news and our chest tightens with anxiety. We walk past a closed business and have to look the other way as the sight of it fills us with fear. We cast a worried glance at our children, hoping they are okay as their worlds are turned upside down. So, how do we get through the stress of a pandemic virus? The experts have some good advice for us.


The Centers For Disease Control and Prevention suggests the following when we are stressed over the virus:

  • Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting.
  • Take care of your body. Take deep breaths, stretch, or meditate. Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep, and avoid alcohol and drugs.
  • Make time to unwind. Try to do some other activities you enjoy.
  • Connect with others. Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling. also mentions being sure to only share accurate information on the risks to ourselves and others about the Coronavirus:

“When you share accurate information about COVID-19 you can help make people feel less stressed and allow you to connect with them.”

How about helping children cope with the stress? The World Health Organization suggests, “Maintain familiar routines in daily life as much as possible, or create new routines, especially if children must stay at home. Provide engaging age-appropriate activities for children, including activities for their learning. As much as possible, encourage children to continue to play and socialize with others, even if only within the family when advised to restrict social contract.”***

Toward that end, many organizations are now offering online classes and presentations (such as Ranger-led discussions and virtual tours through the parks systems*) to assist parents in the online learning process, and to keep our kids thinking on positive, educational subjects.

So, as Shainna Ali Ph.D., LMHC brought out in her blog post for Psychology Today**, “Pandemics are not declared lightly, and an increase in your stress is actually a normal response.” If you find yourself stressed, know that you are not alone! We are all feeling the strain of this unusual situation. However, with a little planning and thought, we can take care of ourselves and our families and get through the stress of dealing with a pandemic virus.






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