Everything has been cancelled, you're social distancing from friends, and spending way more time with your family than you would like. The world seems uncertain, which causes many feelings to come and go throughout the day. Everyone deals with the stress of COVID19 differently. Finding ways to cope may come easy one day but not the next. Your feelings could be pretty calm but then suddenly they take a turn and you're on a rollercoaster of emotions. It can be hard to know what's a “normal level of stress" due to all the changes in your life, and when to put up the white flag and ask for help.
- You're not sleeping well - you either sleep too much or hardly sleep at all.
- You can't concentrate on the important things. You find yourself zoning out for long periods of time, or obsessing about insignificant details to the point of not getting anything else done.
- You're no longer able to manage your time.
- You end up in trouble with school and at home. You have no interest in working on your e-learning, you lose your gaming privileges for the second day in a row.
- You lose confidence in yourself and your abilities.
- You, food, and/or exercise get into a terrible relationship with each another. Suddenly you either obsess about calories and working out, or you eat everything in sight and barely get up off the couch.
- You have a hard time controlling your emotions. You unexpectedly burst into tears, become anxious about normal everyday activities, or find yourself suddenly lashing out at others for no reason at all.
- You stop enjoying the things that once brought you joy. Now you could care less about anything.
- You start using drugs or alcohol just to get through the day.
- You start to isolate yourself and stop talking to friends and family.
- You get reckless and feel out of control.
- You start hurting yourself.
- You start having thoughts of suicide.
Be aware of these warning signs. It may be a sign that you're not coping well with your feelings or the stressors in your life. If you notice these signs, talk to someone you trust (preferably an adult) and ask them to help you make a Safety Plan. Develop your plan to include coping skills, positive distractions and supportive people in your life. Take steps towards controlling your stress so that your stress doesn't control you.