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How are you feeling during the COVID-19 outbreak?

Common responses these days include:

  • I’m going crazy.
  • I’m just keeping it together.
  • I’m losing it.

So if you can relate to stress, fear and anxiety about the new coronavirus and the changes it has made to our lives, you are not alone.

On a global scale, this pandemic is affecting our social lives, our mental health, our sleep patterns, and more. You may be afraid for yourself, your loved ones, your job, or your home.

That’s a lot bring.

And on top of it all, as you follow CDC-recommended guidelines for physical or social distancing, you might also lose some of your community ties and social support that might otherwise help you through a stressful time like this.

Here is some help.

Not all of the following strategies will work for everyone, but if you keep these resources in your toolbox, you’ll likely develop a solid plan to support yourself in the future.

Chronic loneliness can take a toll on your mental health and is hard to avoid while you’re in isolation or quarantine.

Learn how loneliness can affect you and what to do about it:

  • How a chat app can help alleviate loneliness during the COVID-19 outbreak
  • 20 ways to feel more comfortable being alone
  • 6 ways to #break away from loneliness
  • A guide to sex and love in times of COVID-19

What helps you calm down when you feel that stress is dominating you? These resources can help you find more answers.

For the breaking news cycle

  • Taking care of your mental health during the COVID-19 outbreak
  • 9 resources to cope with coronavirus anxiety
  • Is my anxiety about COVID-19 normal or is it something else?
  • 4 Tips for Managing Your Anxiety in Uncertain Times
  • Stress disorder in the headlines: when breaking news is bad for your health

For relief right now

  • 8 breathing exercises to try when you feel anxious
  • How to Do a Body Scan Meditation (And Why You Should)
  • 14 mindfulness tricks to reduce anxiety
  • 7 ways to achieve ’emotional catharsis’ without having a breakdown
  • 17 Strategies to Beat Stress in 30 Minutes or Less

For ongoing support

  • Your productivity does not determine your value. Here’s how to let that sink in
  • The best meditation apps of the year
  • 6 exercises for anxiety relief and relaxation

Stress is one thing, but panic is a completely different animal. If you feel overwhelmed by a wave of fear, this might help:

  • How to stop a panic attack: 11 strategies
  • 7 steps to overcome a panic attack
  • How to help someone having a panic attack
  • What to do when your mind is racing
  • 15 ways to calm down

With isolation often comes depression. If you’re already living with depression, this time it could make it worse, but there are things you can do to make yourself feel better.

  • Isolation can cause depression. Here’s how to avoid the spiral while sheltering in place
  • 8 ways to get out of bed when depression is keeping you down
  • How to Fight Depression Naturally: 20 Things to Try
  • 10 things to do when you don’t want to do anything
  • 9 foods that can improve your mood

Sleep can help your immune system, but it’s not easy to get a restful night’s sleep with COVID-19 on your mind.

  • Stress from COVID-19 keeping you awake? 6 tips for better sleep
  • 17 Proven Tips for a Better Night’s Sleep
  • 8 home remedies for insomnia
  • A relaxing yoga routine for insomnia
  • The best apps for insomnia of the year

OCD, health anxiety, PTSD, and other conditions can kick in when you worry about the pandemic and stay home with your thoughts.

Here are some specific resources just for you:

  • 7 tips to cope with the fear of coronavirus while having a chronic illness
  • 6 questions to ask your doctor about COVID-19 and your chronic illness
  • How to deal with health anxiety during the COVID-19 outbreak
  • I have OCD. These 5 Tips Are Helping Me Survive My Coronavirus Anxiety
  • How to Handle Eating Disorder Recovery in Quarantine
  • 5 reminders for people with eating disorders during the COVID-19 outbreak
  • The life-changing magic of accepting that there will always be disaster

While exercise can help your mental health, it’s best to avoid going to the gym during the COVID-19 outbreak. Instead, you can try these at-home exercises and gentle mood-boosting moves.

  • 3 simple ways to stay active while stuck at home
  • Yoga for calm: 5 postures to relieve stress
  • Avoiding the gym due to COVID-19? How to do exercise at home
  • 30 moves to get the most out of your workout at home
  • Cardio at home: 19 exercises for every fitness level

Have you switched to working remotely? Working from home can have its challenges, especially related to stress and mental health.

  • COVID-19 and working from home: 26 tips to guide you
  • How to take care of your mental health when working from home
  • 5 ways to create a healthy and productive environment to work from home
  • Working from home and depression: why it happens and how to deal with it
  • 9 Helpful Tips When Working From Home Triggers Your Depression
  • 33 healthy office snacks that will keep you energized and productive

Cabin fever, anyone? For some people, staying busy is a way to deal with the mental health effects of stress and isolation.

Try these resources:

  • Cabin fever: why it happens and 7 ways to treat it
  • How to develop daily and weekly routines as shelter-in-place continues
  • 5 tips for cabin fever during your shelter in place
  • How Gardening Helps Ease Anxiety and 4 Steps to Get Started
  • DIY Therapy: How Crafting Helps Your Mental Health
  • How a pet can help you while sheltering in place

It’s not easy having a whole family dealing with stress under one roof. If you are a parent, these resources may be helpful to you and your children:

  • The 15 best online resources for children while sheltering at home
  • Working at home and being parents: tactical and emotional advice for parents
  • How to talk to your children about the COVID-19 outbreak
  • Cloud anxiety? Simple tips to reduce stress for parents
  • 6 Relaxing Yoga Poses For Kids Who Need A Calm Down
  • Mindfulness for children: benefits, activities and more
  • 10 tips for your children to sleep
  • Keeping Your Kids Busy When You’re Stuck At Home: 12 Ideas

Sometimes there’s nothing like a push in the right direction to boost your optimism.

  • Sidewalk chalk, music and teddy bears: how people are lifting each other’s spirits during COVID-19
  • How to Hack Your Hormones for a Better Mood
  • 7 Ways to Increase Optimism and Reduce Anxiety Every Day
  • Positive self-talk: how to change your inner voice

You may be isolated at home, but getting help from others is still an option.

  • 5 mental health apps to help you during the coronavirus lockdown
  • 7 tips to get the most out of online therapy during the COVID-19 outbreak
  • Therapy on a Budget: 5 Affordable Options
  • 10 ways to help in a mental health crisis
  • Mental Health Resources: Types and Options

Hopefully, this resource guide can remind you that you don’t have to carry this burden alone, and you don’t have to make wild guesses about how to handle it.

There are real, science-backed, and expert-approved ways to navigate times of stress, isolation, insomnia, and more.

You are also an expert on your own life when it comes to your needs and how you have overcome difficult times before.

So keep these resources handy, refer to them as often as you need, and give yourself permission to take good care of yourself during this difficult time. You deserve all the kind care you can get.


Maisha Z. Johnson is a writer and advocate for survivors of violence, people of color, and the LGBTQ+ communities. She lives with chronic illness and believes in honoring each person’s unique path to healing. Find Maisha at your website, Facebook, Y Twitter.