Managing Anxiety and Stress
The outbreak of COVID-19 may be stressful for people. Fear and anxiety about a disease can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adults and children. Coping with stress will make you, the people you care about, and your community stronger. Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations.
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
- Increased use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs
There are many things you can do to support your child during this time, as they may be influenced by inaccurate or false information.
- Take time to talk with your child or teen about the COVID-19 outbreak. Answer questions and share facts about COVID-19 in a way that your child or teen can understand.
- Reassure your child or teen that they are safe. Let them know it is ok if they feel upset. Share with them how you deal with your own stress so that they can learn how to cope from you.
- Limit your family’s exposure to news coverage of the event, including social media. Children may misinterpret what they hear and can be frightened about something they do not understand.
- Try to keep up with regular routines and with schools closed, create a schedule for learning activities and relaxing or fun activities.
- Be a role model. Take breaks, get plenty of sleep, exercise, and eat well. Also, consider connecting with your friends and family members virtually.
Information provided by St. Louis County Department of Public Health
Resources for Supporting Children's Emotional Well-being during the COVID-19 Pandemic
In the event of an emergency, here are some community resources that can provide additional support:
911/Take your child to the ER
National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255
Behavioral Health Response Crisis Line: 1-800-811-4760
Saint Louis Crisis Nursery: 314-768-3201
Salvation Army: 211 (mortgage, utility bills, clothing, medication bills, etc.)