The outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) may be stressful for people. Fear and anxiety about a disease can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions. Coping with stress in a healthy way, and sharing your knowledge with others, will make you, the people you care about, and your community stronger.

Stress during an infectious disease outbreak can include:

  • Fear and worry about your own health and the health of your loved ones.
  • Changes in sleep or eating patterns.
  • Difficulty sleeping or concentrating
  • Worsening of chronic health problems
  • Worsening of mental health conditions
  • Increased use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs

Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations:

How you respond to the outbreak can depend on your background, the things that make you different from other people, and the community you live in. Attorney’s have been deemed essential workers and as such we are interacting with stress from not only family and friends but our clients too, People who may respond more strongly to the stress of a crisis include:

  • Older people and people with chronic diseases who are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19
  • Children and teens
  • People who are helping with the response to COVID-19, like doctors, other health care providers, and first responders
  • People who have mental health conditions including problems with substance use

Take care of yourself and your community:

Taking care of yourself, your friends, and your family can help you cope with stress. Helping others cope with their stress can also make your relationships, homes and communities stronger. Equip yourself first, and then be a light and an inspiration for others around you.

Ways to cope with stress:

  • 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.
    • Avoid alcohol and drugs as coping tools
  • Make time to unwind. Try to do some of the activities you enjoy, but never have time for ordinarily. YouTube and online tutorials are booming while captive audiences await the next post or live feed.
  • Connect with others. Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling. We should be physically distancing, not social distancing. This is actually the perfect time to build your network and work on relationships both personal and professional. Reaching out to others when your down to ask “how are you” instead of focusing on your mood is also an effective way to turn things around.
  • Maintain A Schedule. While we’re on lock-down, the days may seem to start to blur together. Sticking to a routine helps combat that problem. Keep to your regular wake-up and bed-times as much as possible and look at time-blocking tools to help with at-home work productivity.
  • Healthy Foods For A Healthy Mind. Right now comfort foods are popular because well, we’re comforting ourselves during a crisis. And there’s nothing wrong with that. However, do be mindful of just how much of them you are consuming and in particular how much of the processed ones are sneaking into your pantry. Our choices in food products, especially where additives come into play, does have an impact on our overall mood and mental health.

A Final Note For Parents:

Children and teens react, in part, on what they see from the adults around them. When parents and caregivers deal with the COVID-19 calmly and confidently, they can provide the best support for their children. Parents can be more reassuring to others around them, especially children, if they are better prepared.

Watch for behavior changes in your child

Not all children and teens respond to stress in the same way. Some common changes to watch for include

  • Excessive crying or irritation in younger children
  • Returning to behaviors they have outgrown (for example, toileting accidents or bedwetting)
  • Excessive worry or sadness
  • Unhealthy eating or sleeping habits
  • Irritability and “acting out” behaviors in teens
  • Poor school performance or avoiding school
  • Difficulty with attention and concentration
  • Avoidance of activities enjoyed in the past
  • Unexplained headaches or body pain
  • Use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs

For more inspiration, motivation and outside-the-box ideas for living a healthy and happy remote work life follow me:
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