Stress due to COVID-19 is on the rise, but these strategies can help keep your mental and physical health healthy.

As the days go by, social distancing is becoming our new “norm” for living and working together. However, many questions and pressures arise that can be overwhelming. For example, how to keep basic needs supplied, or how much disinfectant is enough, what news should I believe? We all need to think about practical strategies for dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Here are five suggestions to employ:

  1. Be aware of true facts and take the necessary precautions to manage your fear.

We understand that the unknown can be frightening and can overwhelm us. Fear can increase negative thoughts, leading to unnecessary stress. Continuous stress releases hormones that prepare us for emergencies, but it also severely affects our immune system.

Combat this fear by acting on confirmed or true facts, not misinformation or false information. Rely on reliable information from disease control centers and local/national officials. On the other hand, take necessary precautions such as hand washing, surface disinfection and social distancing.

  1. Moderate the time spent on social networks and television.

Social media platforms can cause incredible anxiety as the rumors and misinformation are disseminated in them. Therefore, limit the time you spend browsing them, and don’t add to the panic of others by posting unreliable information. Also, limit your children’s exposure to television news. Their perspective is different than adults and they will have difficulty processing the facts and realize our emotional state, so try to remain calm and provide facts to help them understand the situation and how you can all get through this together.

  1. Do some physical exercise

Exercise your body to help keep your mind under control. In fact, aerobic exercise is as important for the head as it is for the heart. It has a unique ability to stimulate and relax, provide calm, as well as counteract depression and dissipate stress. So, take a walk around the house, or even tune in to one of the thousands of free yoga, meditation or workout videos online. Take advantage of these free resources.

  1. Help each other

Social distancing does not mean that we should not give support. The advantage of social networks is that we are more connected than ever. Find out who among your acquaintances needs help and offer it, so that everyone is safe and cared for. Even with this social distancing, if we learn of a neighbor or friend in need of medicine or supplies, we can help them by bringing them to them.

Find out who needs a meal that can be left at the door, or a prescription that can be delivered. Be creative to ensure that our social distancing does not lead to emotional distancing for those most in need.

  1. Limit poor nutritional habits that weaken your immune system.

One habit to watch out for is eating or drinking foods with a lot of sugar. Too much sugar reduces the ability of white blood cells to kill germs by 40%! Another detail to keep in mind is that we should limit alcohol consumption since studies show that three or more alcoholic drinks a day are enough to suppress your immunity.