How To Take Care Of Ourselves During Stressful Times

Adapted from the King County Balanced You blog

It is a challenging time for everyone right now and it’s hard to find stability in our lives. While many things are beyond our control, there are many things that we can control. When we are anxious and fearful, working some of these things into our lives can be empowering and comforting.

Focusing on establishing new practices of self-care can support your immune system and overall physical and mental health.

Maintain a routine

Do your best to maintain a regular routine: sleep, exercise, and diet.

  • Set a regular sleep and wake schedule and stick to it as much as possible.
  • If you are able, go for a walk in your neighborhood or on a trail, while keeping six feet apart from others. If you’d rather exercise at home, take advantage of the many online exercise routines available for free.
  • Try at-home yoga or exercise.
  • Take this time to practice new, healthy recipes. With more time at home, cooking can be an outlet that helps keep both our minds and bodies healthy.

Stay connected

Avoid crowds, but stay connected.

  • Connect with a friend via phone or video chat. Sharing your concerns and anxieties is helpful. The other person likely has the same or similar concerns.
  • Reach out to a family member or neighbor – let them know you’re thinking about them.
  • Share meals with family or roommates.
  • If you are able, help a neighbor who is at high-risk. Offer to pick up groceries or other necessities and leave them at the front door.

Have fun

Be intentional about making time for fun and joy.

  • Limit the amount of times you look at the news to only a few times or once per day from a reliable source. Watch a movie or catch up some comedies instead.
  • Play a game.
  • Start a new hobby.
  • Have a dance party.

Nurture your mental health

Adopt new practices to care for your mental health during this stressful time.

  • Take a deep breath. Practice yoga or mindfulness.
  • If you meet with a therapist, let them know your concerns about coronavirus. If you don’t have a regular therapist:
  • King County Department of Community and Human Services provides referrals for mental health and substance use services if you have Apple Health/Medicaid:. Call 206-263-8997 or 1-800-790-8049 to learn more.
  • Call WA Listens, a program that provides nonclinical support to people experiencing elevated stress due to COVID-19. Call 1-833-681-0211 to be connected to a live support specialist. The support specialist will listen and connect you to community resources in your area. The program is anonymous and no identifying information is maintained.
  • The Community Health Access Program (CHAP) connects you with care you can afford. Interpreters are available. Call 1-800-756-5437, visit or email:

For more community mental health services, check out this list of resources: Community Mental Health Resource Guide

Originally posted on November 2, 2020