Regaining Calm During Crisis

If you’re feeling stress during the Coronavirus pandemic, you’re not alone. During these uncertain times, it’s normal if you’re feeling anxious, scared or overwhelmed. You might be feeling the domino effect of stress on your eating habits, exercise or even sleep.

Common sources of stress during this time might include:

  • Fear of the unknown
  • Feeling a loss of control
  • Fear of yourself or loved ones getting sick
  • Isolation and disconnection from social distancing
  • Limited food and supplies
  • Financial concern due to loss of job or income
  • Working from home
  • Caring for families and children while at home
  • Fear for the economy and impact on businesses


Here are a few tips and strategies for coping during this time of uncertainty

Limit Exposure to the News

First and foremost, have a plan in regards to listening to the media to stay informed. If you want to watch the news, choose a specific time to watch and listen to reliable sources. Continue to follow health and safety recommendations, and feel empowered to share with others without spreading more fear and panic.

Establish Routines and Rituals

  • Have a consistent bedtime and wake-up time
  • Get dressed each morning
  • If you’re working from home, set “office hours” and schedule break times

Develop a Daily Mindfulness Practice

  • Take time to focus on the present
  • Pause and check in with yourself – What thoughts and feelings are you having? What are you experiencing physically?
  • Try mindful breathing exercises to relieve tension
  • Do mindful movements like yoga, Tai Chi and stretching

Get Outside (While Following Social Distancing)

  • Take a walk
  • Walk your dog
  • Work in your garden
  • Take a drive
  • Find a beautiful place to sit

Re-frame the Situation

Even when you feel you have no control over a situation, you are in charge of what you focus on. Try seeing this situation as an opportunity to get quiet, learn something new, catch up on things or make a change.

Increase Connection

  • Social distancing does not mean emotional distancing
  • Nurture close relationships with those in your household
  • Work on communication and set boundaries as necessary
  • Reach out to loved ones virtually (text, calling, social media, video)

Build a Self-Care Buffer Zone

  • Pay attention to body, mind, heart and spirit
  • Eat a balance of nutritious foods
  • Engage in enjoyable physical activity
  • Get rest and adequate sleep
  • Keep up with good hygiene
  • Engage in art, music, crafts, hobbies, cooking, etc.
  • Seek out support and acknowledge your feelings
  • Find humor and opportunities where you can

Have a Productive Quarantine

  • Learn to cook or try a new recipe
  • Spring clean your house, yard and/or car
  • Organize your photos
  • Work on your business or hobbies
  • Finish your taxes
  • Look for things you always wish you had time to do


Dr. Singh is a board certified internal medical and obesity management physician. He offers a comprehensive weight management program for patients.