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...

Navy Spouse Seeks Mental Health Care through the MHS

Article
9/15/2021
Military personnel in front of a helicopter

Army public affairs officer deals with mental health crisis.

Recommended Content:

Mental Health Toolkit

The COVID-19 Pandemic: How Health Care Workers are Coping

Article
9/13/2021
a nurse helping a COVID-19 patient

For health care providers, experiencing the pandemic inside a hospital has brought

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Military Health Podcasts

Increased COVID Restrictions on the Pentagon Reservation

Article
9/8/2021
Military personnel wearing a face mask

Due to the increase in COVID-19 cases and positive test cases in the National Capital Region, the Pentagon Reservation will move to Health Protection Condition Bravo Plus (Bravo+)

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus

Ask the Doc: How Do I Fight the Long Deployment Blues?

Article
9/7/2021
Military personnel looking at a computer

Doc talks to Navy Lt. Chad Haan, staff chaplain at Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, Virginia, about ways to prevent a “downward spiral” while on deployment.

Recommended Content:

Psychological Fitness | Social Fitness | Ask The Doc

Digital health innovation emerges during COVID-19 pandemic

Article
8/31/2021
The Defense Health Agency’s Connected Health Branch was there to support, advise and deliver new health innovations throughout the pandemic. (Graphic courtesy of DHA Connected Health)

The DHA's Connected Health Branch was there to support, advise, and deliver new health innovations throughout the pandemic.

Recommended Content:

Connected Health | Coronavirus

As Fitness Tests Resume, Troops Seek Post-COVID Exercise Routines

Article
8/31/2021
Military personnel physically training

Keeping fit during pandemic proves hard for some.

Recommended Content:

Total Body Preventive Health and Total Force Fitness | Total Force Fitness | Physical Fitness | Coronavirus

Secretary of Defense Mandates COVID-19 Vaccinations for Service Members

Article
8/26/2021
An Army medic administers the COVID-19 vaccine to another soldier.

Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III yesterday issued a memorandum directing mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations for service members.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

DOD Intends to Mandate Pfizer Vaccine, Pentagon Official Says

Article
8/25/2021
Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby holds a press briefing, at the Pentagon, Washington, D.C.

Kirby said the health of DOD's military and civilian employees, families and communities is a top priority.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

TRICARE has Resources for Those Struggling with Events in Afghanistan

Article
8/25/2021
A soldier looks out over a valley in the Kunar Province of Afghanistan while on patrol.

Departure of U.S. forces from Afghanistan stirred emotions from many people.

Recommended Content:

Psychological Health Center of Excellence

Maintaining Mission Readiness During a Pandemic

Article
8/24/2021
Gen. Place presents at HIMSS in Las Vegas.

DHA Director Army Lt. Gen. (Dr.) Ronald Place discussed the national security implications of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Heroes Behind the Mask | Deployment Health

Reform, COVID-19 Have Been Catalysts for Change in Military Medicine

Article
8/16/2021
Dr. Terry Adirim speaking to an audience at a conference

Healthcare is about taking care of people, so no amount of change or innovation is ever sufficient if modernization does not lead to helping patients, says acting ASDHA at HIMSS21 in Las Vegas.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Military Health System Transformation

Don't Hesitate: Vaccinate Today for School

Article
8/13/2021
A boy gets the COVID-19 vaccine

Back to School Means Vaccine Time

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Coronavirus | Immunization Healthcare | Vaccine-Preventable Diseases | Vaccine Recommendations | Children's Health | Immunizations | TRICARE Health Program

Services Will Make Call on Religious Exemptions to COVID-19 Vaccines

Article
8/13/2021
Two medical people prepare syringes with doses of the COVID-19 vaccine

"There is a religious exemption possibility for any mandatory vaccine, and there's a process that we go through to counsel the individual both from a medical and from a command perspective about using a religious exemption," Kirby said.

Recommended Content:

Public Health | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

Austin Seeks Presidential Approval for Mandatory Troop Vaccinations by Mid-September

Article
8/10/2021
Sailors receive COVID-19 vaccinations

The COVID-19 vaccine will be mandatory for service members by mid-September, Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III said in a message to the force released yesterday.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

Top Military Medical Doctor Predicts Coronavirus Longevity

Article
8/9/2021
Army Lt. Gen. Ronald J. Place, director of Defense Health Agency, delivers remarks at a media briefing on COVID-19 at the Pentagon, April 21, 2021

I believe we will get to a place where we're not talking about COVID all the time

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 27

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.