Back to Top Skip to main content Skip to sub-navigation

Coping with the stress of social distancing

Image of person alone in room Service members and their families will quarantine at Fort Knox if they come into contact with a person potentially infected with COVID-19. (U.S. Army photo by Eric Pilgrim)

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Psychological Fitness

Social distancing recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are now in place across the nation in response to COVID-19. It’s understandable that during this time, people may experience increased anxiety and stress levels as they limit social interactions and spend long stretches of time at home. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration or SAMHSA recently issued a tip sheet with advice and resources to support behavioral health during periods of social distancing or quarantine that result from a disease outbreak.

Ways to Cope

  1. Limit COVID-19 media consumption: Avoid 24/7 watching of news programming for updates on COVID-19 because it may lead to increased anxiety.
  2. Find credible news sources: Constant media reporting during a public health crisis may create impressions of increased risk and danger to people. Look to credible sources issuing guidelines and recommendations, such as the CDC and World Health Organization, which often serve as the primary source for media outlets. Sign up for emergency alerts through local governments.
  3. Use technology to connect with others: Talking with loved ones while in isolation can help reduce levels of anxiety and boredom. In today’s digital age, there are a variety of ways to stay in contact with people, including phone, email, text, and social media. Video calling platforms allow face-to-face interactions from the comfort of your home. Playing online games with friends and family can also offer an engaging way to feel connected.
  4. Practice self-care: Physical health can play a role in mental health. Take time to relax by stretching, practicing deep-breathing exercises, or meditating. Enjoy fun activities. Keep a journal listing the positive things in life.

Anxiety and fear over personal health or the health of loved ones are typical reactions to a global pandemic. Other feelings can include anger, frustration, and boredom over the uncertainty of when life will return to “normal.” Be aware that in situations of high stress and loneliness, some people may experience symptoms of depression or post-traumatic stress disorder. Anyone experiencing a concerning or significant level of anxiety or stress, or if any of these symptoms last for two or more weeks, should call a health care provider or behavioral health professional.

For more information, including a helpful list of resources and hotlines, refer to SAHMSA’s four-page publication, Tips for Social Distancing, Quarantine, and Isolation During an Infectious Disease Outbreak.

You also may be interested in...

4 Ways to Cope with Survivor Guilt

Video
6/23/2021

When a fellow warrior dies or is injured in battle, it’s common to have feelings of shock, regret or guilt. This is known as Survivor guilt. Learn how you can stay psychologically fit.

Recommended Content:

Psychological Fitness | Real Warriors Campaign

5 Tips to Manage Anger

Video
6/23/2021

When dealing with the stresses of military life, anger can become frequent or intense. Use these tips to manage anger in a healthy way.

Recommended Content:

Psychological Fitness | Anger | Real Warriors Campaign

5 Tips to Stay Mission Ready

Video
6/23/2021

Getting the job done in the military takes more than just physical strength. Whether you are at home or abroad, follow these tips to stay mission ready and mentally fit.

Recommended Content:

Psychological Fitness | Real Warriors Campaign

59 Sec PSA: Retired Command Sgt. Maj. Christopher K. Greca

Video
6/23/2021

As a senior noncommissioned officer, retired Command Sergeant Major Greca did not recognize the subtle signs and symptoms of his physical and invisible wounds. Hear how CSM Greca realized that it takes strength to recognize the warning signs, and to seek support from military health resources.

Recommended Content:

Psychological Fitness | Real Warriors Campaign

59 Sec PSA: Staff Sgt. Brittany Johnson

Video
6/23/2021

Staff Sgt. Brittany Johnson spent years reliving memories of her sexual assault. By seeking care, Staff Sgt. Johnson learned what triggered her and how to cope when memories resurfaced. Hear how Staff Sgt. Johnson turned a traumatic event into an opportunity to share her story and help others.

Recommended Content:

Psychological Fitness | Sexual Trauma | Real Warriors Campaign

5 Consejos Para Estar Listo Para la Misión Infographic

Publication
6/23/2021

Follow these five tips to stay mission ready and mentally fit whether at home or abroad.

Recommended Content:

Psychological Fitness

5 Questions to Ask Your Psychological Health Provider Trifold

Publication
6/23/2021

Use these five questions to start a conversation about your psychological health with your provider. Make the most of your visit by being prepared and taking notes.

Recommended Content:

Psychological Fitness

5 Ways Military Leaders Can Address Stigma Fact Sheet

Publication
6/23/2021

Break stigma and create a unit culture that supports psychological health with these tips and resources.

Recommended Content:

Psychological Fitness

Military Health Resources Infographic

Publication
6/23/2021

Learn the different ways to seek care and take the first step. Managing the stress of military life can affect the toughest warrior. Find the resource to best fit your needs.

Recommended Content:

Psychological Fitness

5 Apps for Staying Mission Ready

Publication
6/23/2021

Download these five apps to stay mission ready and mentally fit whether at home or abroad.

Recommended Content:

Psychological Fitness

5 Tips to Prioritize Your Health Flyer

Publication
6/23/2021

Use these five useful tips to support your psychological health.

Recommended Content:

Psychological Fitness

5 Tips to Stay Mission Ready Infographic

Publication
6/23/2021

Follow these five tips to stay mission ready and mentally fit whether at home or abroad. View this infographic in Spanish.

Recommended Content:

Psychological Fitness

Do's And Don't's for Communicating about Psychological Health Infographic

Publication
6/23/2021

Learn the do’s and don’ts for talking about psychological health to help promote a positive narrative, address misconceptions and encourage others to reach out for help.

Recommended Content:

Psychological Fitness

Can We Talk? Infographic

Publication
6/23/2021

If you're concerned about a loved one, friend or coworker, use this infographic to help you start the conversation and encourage them to seek care.

Recommended Content:

Psychological Fitness

Taking the First Step to Access Behavioral Health Care

Video
6/21/2021

Seeking care early = a healthier life. Learn how you can get connected with a health care provider.

Recommended Content:

Real Warriors Campaign | Psychological Fitness
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 61 - 75 Page 5 of 43

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing. Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.