Some self-care strategies to manage COVID- 19 stress
1. Social media:
If you are becoming anxious or overwhelmed about COVID-19, we recommend that you try to limit how much you are checking media/ social media to just once or twice a day e.g. in the morning and evening.
It’s also important to get your news from reputable sources, as there have been a lot of myths and untrue information circulating on social media which can put lives at risk.
Check out our ‘Managing Social Media’ section, as the tips there also apply to managing how you get COVID-19 news in a helpful way.
2. Regular eating and mealtimes.
If your school or college is closed or if you are working from home now or temporarily laid off, many of your usual routines will likely slip or change. Some change is needed of course, and adapting to new circumstances is part of being resilient- a good thing.
However, keeping to regular routines around your mealtimes is really important for two reasons.
Firstly, familiar routine and structure tends to decrease anxiety in times of crisis, and lack of familiar routine can lead to an increase in fear and worry. This in turn can cause eating disorder thoughts, feelings and behaviours to worsen as you try to manage and control your anxious feelings. Even if your timings slightly change, stick to your usual schedule for regular eating as much as possible.
Secondly, people with eating disorders are generally at a higher risk of medical complications, especially those with Anorexia Nervosa and ARFID. Nutrition, good physical health and immune system have been shown to be really important in helping people recover from COVID-19. Regular eating of enough nutrition to maintain health is more important than ever now to protect you at this time and reduce the need for medical care.
Some anxiety is absolutely a normal response to the current crisis, but it is also important to manage it. We really love the advice on these posters from the World Health Organisation (W.H.O.) about managing COVID-19 related stress. Take a few moments to review them and see what you and your family might find useful at home. We will be sharing other information like this over the coming weeks, but this is a good place to start.