How to Manage Stress During Challenging Times

March 21, 2020

If you’ve been feeling anxious or stressed during the coronavirus pandemic, you are not alone. 

Whether you’re worried about your family’s health, the unsettled economy or your work situation, these troubling times can affect your mental health. 

To help you manage stress and anxiety, Laura Arline, MD, interim chief quality officer at BayCare, provides some helpful tips. 

“Stress can be a physical reaction to feeling overwhelmed and confused by a situation or having too many demands on you,” said Dr. Arline. “Stress can have an effect on your sleep, eating habits and your overall health.”  

That’s why Dr. Arline recommends creating a toolbox you can rely on during stressful situations to help ease your mind. 

Practice Mindfulness 

Take deep breaths throughout the day. Breathe in through your nose and breathe out through your mouth. This helps relieve stress and open your mind to positive thoughts. 


As we know, many gyms currently are closed. However, you can still move and exercise from the comfort of your own home. You can go for a daily walk, run, play with your family and pets or do indoor yoga. This will help you stay healthy and help release negative thoughts. 

Eat Healthy

Diet plays a role in your level of stress. So, try to add to your diet more vegetables, fruit, legumes and healthy snacks and less carbohydrates and meats. High levels of sugar and carbohydrates can raise your stress level. 


This may seem hard to do right now, but it’s still important to volunteer or help someone else. You can also donate or do something good in the community. These selfless actions can help ease stress. 

Take a Break 

The latest developments around the world can be overwhelming and confusing, but you don’t have to stay tuned to the news all day. Go out into the sunshine, look at greenery and soak in nature.    

Write a Journal 

With everything that’s happening, it’s easy to feel anxious or confused. However, there is always something to be grateful for. Dr. Arline recommends writing down three things you’re thankful for and sharing them with your family. This can help put things in perspective for you and your family during these trying times. 

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