6 tips to manage stress during the pandemic

Stress is an inevitable part of life. It's divided into two types of stress: eustress (beneficial) and distress (harmful). Eustress helps people be aware of things and phenomena around them, ready to act, plan to prepare for the future.

6 tips to manage stress during the pandemic

But when stress is excessive, we can experience adverse reactions in the central aspect of:

  • Emotions: anxiety, fear, grief, excitability, anger
  • Physical: sleep disorder, fatigue, pain
  • Thoughts: worry, negativity, pessimism, confusion
  • Behavior: avoidance (work, responsibility), alienation from social relationships (social withdrawal), some cases of developing obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD): repeated many times to an unusual degree a behavior in response to one's fear.

Many psychologists and psychiatrists have suggested that the COVID-19 pandemic is causing more mental health problems than previous outbreaks, partly because it occurred in an age of information explosion. The main points that increase stress are:

  • Insecurity: worrying about the health of yourself and your loved ones.
  • Uncertain future about work, money or sometimes it's as simple as not knowing where to go to buy vegetables, buy rice or how about milk tea?
  • News overload: we are surrounded by news 24/24, from television, social networks, websites, messages from friends, chat with neighbors, colleagues. Wrong information, sensationalism, and likes are often shared more often than positive news.
  • Changing living habits: we have to work remotely, through sometimes unfamiliar tools. Some have had their hours cut and even lost their jobs. Children have to stay at home, completely disturbing their living and working habits.


REFERENCES 6 tips shared below by Dr. Phung Ngoc Minh Tan, Cardiology Department of CarePlus

1. Maintain POSITIVE habits every day

  • Sleeping on time, getting enough sleep is a top priority: maintaining a fixed bedtime every day, not staying up late, not getting up late.
  • Actively active: at least 30 minutes/day, change many ways of exercise such as climbing stairs, walking around the yard, yoga, cardio, jumping rope, doing housework, playing with children or pets, etc.
  • Eat sensibly: increase green vegetables, fruits, nuts, fish. Do not abuse alcohol, sugary drinks, coffee, and tea. Avoid falling into a state of overeating due to anxiety, can prepare small portions of fruit/vegetables to eat when hungry.
  • Drink lots of water, especially when you are worried and restless.
  • Continue current medications for chronic conditions. Stay in touch with your treating doctor.

2. Know reasonable online/offline

  • Stay in touch with family, friends, loved ones by phone, video call, etc. It would help if you chose relationships that you feel confident.
  • Updating information is a good thing, but it needs to be limited. Choose to read from only 1 or 2 trusted sources. Limit the time you spend online reading news for only 30 minutes, twice a day.
  • If necessary, you can turn off the internet/phone for 30-60 minutes to do other things to reduce stress.

3. Apply relaxation methods

  • Try listing some relaxing activities you enjoy, some of which you may not have had time to do before. For example: listening to music, watching movies, meditating, planting trees, cooking, reading books, etc.
  • These activities can be interspersed at different times of the day to prevent stress from building up too much.
  • Practice breathing: inhale deeply through the nose, exhale slowly through the mouth. When you are worried, you can apply this breathing method and count 1, 2, 3 breaths in turn. Most of the time, you will be calmer when you count to 20.

4. Positive thinking

Anxiety is the most common manifestation of stress. Worrying turns negative thinking in three ways:

  • "Disasterization": always assume the worst will happen
  • Overestimate the possibility of bad luck happening to you
  • Underestimate your own ability to overcome difficulties

The more you worry, the more rigid and hostile your thoughts will be. Therefore, should bear in mind that

  • The worst possible outcome
  • The best outcome is most likely to happen.

95% of people with Covid-19 have mild symptoms. Always remind yourself that you are entering a 95/100 win match!

Write down your concerns and try to change by asking questions (you can contact your doctor for more accurate information)

  • Is there any other, less harmful way of thinking about this situation?
  • What is the actual rate of this risky thing happening?
  • Scientific and objective evidence of this risk?
  • Scientific evidence disproves this risk?
  • Have you faced such challenges, and in what way?

5. Forgive reasonably

  • Make a shopping list. Don't buy something you don't need now or won't need shortly. Avoid buying mentality.
  • Know how to wear a mask, wash hands, sanitize, and disinfect appropriately.
  • Do not listen to or follow unverified information circulating online about treatment. Do not use methods not recommended by the authorities or your doctor.

6. Do a lot of good deeds

  • Stress lowers a person's tolerance level, so be patient, kind, and help others if possible.
  • Work/chat in groups
  • Willing to talk and help others when they need it
  • Volunteering for the benefit of the community.

Stress is an inevitable, natural part of life. COVID-19 happened that changed history forever. Therefore, it is necessary to reinforce positive attitudes and behaviors and limit adverse effects that will help adjust your "rudder" to the correct water flow instead of faltering and crashing into rocks.

  • Balancing beneficial and harmful stress promotes a healthy lifestyle, limiting adverse effects.
  • Indeed you have experienced stressful times in the past; remember how spectacularly you overcame them.
  • Focus on what is familiar and controllable; over time, the uncertainty will be replaced by something more stable and stable.
  • Avoid making big, important decisions at this time. It is highly recommended to consult friends, relatives, doctors, professionals you trust.
  • Use relaxation techniques that you enjoy. Spread appropriately so as not to accumulate stress. Practicing breathing, meditating, drinking water are quick, simple, and effective ways to apply when feeling insecure.


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