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Managing Stress and Anxiety During Crisis

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It’s essential to care for not only our physical health but also our mental health. In the current climate (COVID-19, earthquakes, and other life factors), much is out of our control. It’s important to do your best to find balance and take care of your whole self.

Stress and anxiety are areas of mental health that need to be addressed appropriately. Most people experience these emotions. They can occur during a new diagnosis, crisis, or disaster. The Centers for Disease Control has some tips on managing these feelings.

If you have a pre-existing mental health condition, it is important to follow up with your doctor, continue your treatment plan, and be aware of new or worsening symptoms.

Knowing the signs of stress and anxiety can help you recognize when it’s time to ask for help and when you can manage on your own.

Signs of Stress and Anxiety

  • Worrying about your health or your loved ones’ health
  • Sleeping or eating more or less than usual
  • Increased use of drugs, alcohol, or tobacco
  • Worrying a lot
  • Blaming others
  • Not being able to have fun or feel pleasure

Tips for Managing Stress and Anxiety

  • Set limits or take breaks from the news and social media.
  • Meditate.
  • Do physical activities you enjoy.
  • Eat well-balanced meals with fruits and vegetables.
  • Sleep 8-9 hours each night.
  • Find ways to unwind and take time for yourself.
  • Write down what you are grateful for each day.
  • Connect with others. During physical distancing, this can include video chatting, text messages, phone calls, or other apps that help you connect.

Be sure to call your doctor if stress continues for several days and interferes with your daily life.

If you are a patient or caregiver at Huntsman Cancer Institute and are having a lot of anxiety about treatments, HCI social workers can help. If you are unsure who your social worker is or how to reach them, talk to your care team or contact the Cancer Learning Center:

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Cancer touches all of us.