COVID-19 and Anxiety: Ways to Cope with Strong Feelings Related to COVID-19


The following post is from The Ohio Department of Health

Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton, M.D., MPH, strongly offers these recommendations for coping with anxiety related to the COVID-19 outbreak:

  • Remember that distress, anxiety, fear, and strong emotions are normal in times of distress or crisis. Remind yourself and others that these feelings will fade.
  • Get information from a trusted source, such as or by calling the Ohio COVID- 19 call center at 1-833-4-ASK-ODH (1-833-427-5634).o Learn and follow tips for preparing for and responding to COVID-19. o Learn and follow tips on how to prevent COVID-19.
  • Avoid excessive exposure to media coverage of COVID-19. It is important to get good information to help you prepare and respond, but don’t overwhelm yourself or your family with information.
  • Eat nutritious food, exercise, get adequate sleep, stay hydrated, avoid alcohol and drugs, and make time to relax and unwind.
  • Incorporate stretching or meditation into your routine. Take deep breaths when feeling overwhelmed.
  • Stay connected with friends and family. Discuss your concerns and be supportive of theirs.
  • Keep participating in hobbies/activities that do not expose you to close contact with others inconfined spaces.
  • If you have a mental health condition, continue with your treatment plan and monitor for any new symptoms. Call your healthcare provider with any concerns.
  • Recognize signs of distress:
    o Feeling hopeless or helpless.


For more information, visit:

o Feelings of numbness, disbelief, anxiety or fear.
o Changes in appetite, energy, and activity levels.
o Difficulty concentrating.
o Difficulty sleeping or nightmares and upsetting thoughts and images.
o Physical reactions, such as headaches, body pains, stomach problems, and skin rashes. o Worsening of chronic health problems.

o Anger or short-temper.
o Increased use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs.

  • Call your healthcare provider if your feelings overwhelm you for several days in a row.
  • Reach out for help:

o Contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s national

Disaster Distress Helpline by calling 1-800-985-5990 or texting TalkWithUs to 66746. o Reach the Ohio Crisis Text Line* by texting keyword 4HOPE to 741 741.
o Reach the Ohio Mental Health and Addiction Services Help Line* at 1.877.275.6364 o Find a provider at

*These functions will remain operational and staffed.
Additional resources on mental health and COVID-19 can be found at

For additional COVID-19 information, visit
For answers to your COVID-19 questions, call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH (1-833-427-5634).