The holidays can already be a stressful time for some people, and this year we have the added burden of a global pandemic that has brought rising cases of infection in the DC Metro region. You may be worried or sad that the holidays will be different this year for you and your family, or you might be feeling overwhelmed at work. We care about our team’s physical and mental health, and we hope the following information can help anyone feeling a lot of stress during the holidays.
RECOGNIZE THE SYMPTOMS
First, you should be able to recognize the symptoms of stress. If you’re experiencing the following symptoms, you might be experiencing stress, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
- Feeling irritation or anger
- Feeling uncertain, nervous, or anxious
- Feeling tired, overwhelmed, or burned out
- Feeling sad or depressed
- Lacking motivation
- Having trouble sleeping or concentrating
HOW TO COPE WITH STRESS
Stay connected to other people. Although we’re being encouraged to social distance, we can still communicate regularly through phone calls, social media, texts and video chats. Try sharing meals virtually with family around the world, attending an online workout class together, or play a virtual game night.
Have safe visits with neighborhood friends and family. You can go for a walk with someone while social distancing and wearing mask, or have a small get-together outdoors.
Help others. You might feel better by doing something to help other people, like offering to shop for a neighbor who is at high risk for severe illness, sending letters to a local nursing home, or reading books online to entertain families with young children.
Take care of yourself. Give yourself a break and make time to relax and take mental breaks. You could try online yoga or meditation classes, commit to exercising and eating healthy, keep a regular sleep schedule, and avoid the news and social media for a while.
Communicate at work. Talk openly with your colleagues and supervisors about things that are causing you stress and work together to find solutions.
WHERE TO GO FOR MORE HELP
Virginia C.O.P.E.S. (compassionate, optimistic, person-centered, empowering support) warm line
If you’re experiencing challenges dealing with the changes in your life because of COVID-19, call this toll-free line. You can speak to someone who will provide emotional support and referrals for mental and behavioral health and other services.
Disaster Distress Helpline
Call or text this number if you’re feeling overwhelmed with sadness, depression, or anxiety.
CDC Coping with Stress for Workers
Information and resources for workers dealing with job-related stress and how to cope.
Virginia Department of Health
Detailed information on how you can manage with COVID-19 related stress and other numbers that you can call for specific types of help needed.