When you hear, read, or see the news of an epidemic of an infectious disease such as coronavirus, you may become anxious and have symptoms of stress. But how can you manage it?
Stress is normal in every person and is more common in people at risk and their close ones. At the time of an epidemic of an infectious disease, you need to be careful about both your physical and mental health and know when to seek help from others.
You should know that stress symptoms are a set of behavioural, physical, emotional, and cognitive responses that are all indicators of anxiety and stress.
Symptoms of Stress
First: Behavioural Symptoms
Increase or decrease of energy and activity levels
Increased smoking or similar habits
Increased irritability leading to nervousness and a lot of quarrel
Difficulty in sleeping and resting
Crying a lot
Too much anxiety
Desire to be alone
Blaming others for everything
Difficulty in communicating and listening to others
Difficulty in giving help or getting help from others
Not to be happy
Second: Physical Symptoms
Stomach-ache or diarrhoea
Headaches and pain in the body
Losing appetite or eating too much
Excessive sweating or chills
Hand trembling and muscle twitching
Getting scared of everything soon
Third: Emotional Symptoms
Being overly anxious or scared
Feeling heroic, euphoric or invincible
Feeling too sad
Fourth: Cognitive Symptoms
Difficulty in remembering things and tasks
Difficulty in thinking and focusing
Difficulty in making decisions
How to reduce your stress?
The first thing is to see the end of the story from the very beginning:
If you or your loved ones are heavily exposed to the disease, it’s natural to want to know all the news. Remember to keep your focus on daily life and limit the amount of time you spend on reading, listening, and watching news of the disease.
The second is to access the “true” news:
If you are at risk, you should be able to get enough information and protect yourself against the disease by listening to the true news.
Listen to people or news sources that are trustworthy. For example, at Corona.ir, you make every effort to provide you with the right educational content.
The third is to use practical ways to reduce stress:
- Take a deep breath, stretch, wash your hands and face and participate in virtual entertainment programs if possible.
- Try to break in between stressful events. It means to have a little joy after a hard work.
- Take every opportunity to get some rest. For example, eat slowly and healthy.
- Have a good sleep, exercise and physical activity and stay in touch with friends and acquaintances by email, phone or social media.
- Study, listen to music, take a shower and open out your hear as much as you can with your family members or health care consultant or staff.
- Avoid smoking cigarettes and hookahs and taking drugs, stimulants and drinking alcohol
- Plan to meet possible physical and mental needs. Know where to go and where to get help if needed.
Therefore, you need to pay attention to your body and soul, so:
- Know the early symptoms of stress
- Remember how your past successful life experiences can help solve current problems. With them, you can control your emotions and feelings at the time of unwanted events.
- Know that feeling stressful, depressed, guilty, or angry is a natural thing for everyone after the epidemic of infectious diseases.
- Talk to your friends and acquaintances, who are also stressed out, about worries. Strive to have reliable news and information sources. Gather information that can help you correctly predict the risk and take the necessary precautions. Use reliable sources of information such as public relations of the Health Ministry, the Medical System Organisation, or the universities of medical sciences.
- Protect both yourself and your family from listening and watching disturbing and damaging news on social media.
- Try to talk about things other than the disease and remind yourself that there are many important and positive things in life that need to be addressed.
- Most importantly, you need to keep up your spirit by trusting in Great God, worshiping, praying and helping others.
- Please also introduce Corona.ir to other friends and loved ones to raise awareness.
Dr Babak Qaleh-Baghi
Dr Maryam Yazdanpanah