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  3. Tools to Help Navigate the Stress of COVID-19

Tools to Help You Navigate Through the Stress of COVID-19

Release Date: July 8, 2020

Whether you’re self-quarantined and working from home or in the field as a front-line employee, you may be experiencing stress during the COVID-19 pandemic. You may feel anxiety about the future and what’s on the news, or how to keep your kids and family safe. During these uncertain times, consider using the following tips and techniques to help you feel more present in the moment and ease your stress and anxiety.

  • Uncover and let go of stress. Your body and mind can unconsciously hold tension in order to feel in control during stressful times. Make it a priority to implement effective stress management techniques into your life. For example, deep breathing exercises only take about five minutes and have been shown to provide a positive effect on stress.
  • Practice learned optimism and positive self-talk. While we’re all vulnerable to unexpected setbacks, daily hassles, and losses, we can choose how to respond to these events with learned optimism and positive self-talk. Learned optimism is acknowledging our struggles and explaining them in ways that boost our self-control and promote self-change. Read more about learned optimism and positive self-talk and how you can apply them in your daily life.
  • Learn how to bounce back after setbacks. The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically altered everyone’s life and routine, creating disruptions to many of our short- and long-term plans and priorities. Setbacks happen to everyone, and most of us find ourselves feeling let down or even depressed when they do. Rather than focusing on negative setbacks, focus on strategies to understand your experience and grow from it.
  • Take time to unplug and refocus. Constant stimulation is unhealthy. Computer and phone screens are an everyday presence for most of us, but science says technology may also be an accelerator of anxiety. Try to take a few hours each day, or one full day a week, to unplug from digital devices and relax or refocus.
  • Practice mindfulness. Daily and long-term stressors can make us feel emotionally exhausted and lead to conditions such as anxiety, insomnia, and depression. Science indicates mindfulness – often defined as paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, and without judgment – can help. Take the time to learn and practice mindfulness meditation in your daily life.

Your Employee Assistance Program is here to help

Your Employee Assistance Program (EAP) has stress relief, mental health, and mindfulness resources available for you and your family members during these challenging times. Your EAP also provides free and confidential support, resources, and information to help you manage your work and life responsibilities. Help is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. For more information, contact your Component EAP, or send an email to worklife@hq.dhs.gov.

Last Updated: 07/08/2020
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