Stressed about COVID-19? You are not alone. While it is normal to worry about the outbreak, it is also important to not let stress overwhelm your body.
Aches and pains are a common complaint that can result from increased levels of stress. Increased levels of the stress hormone cortisol may be associated with chronic pain. Studies have found that higher levels of daily stress were associated with increases in same-day pain levels.
Normally, the brain plays a role in inhibiting pain signals. When you are stressed, the brain’s ability to do so is hindered. Therefore managing stress is key to managing your pain, and there are several ways to achieve this.
· Being active. Exercise can decrease stress levels, whether it is walking the dog or biking with kids.
· Get more sleep. Good, quality sleep can also help you cope with stress. No matter how difficult your day was, tomorrow is another day.
· Find a balance. Take this shelter-in period to examine your daily routine and modify it for better stress control. Identify what you enjoy doing and make them a bigger part of your daily routine.
· Chill out. Relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, yoga, guided imagery, and meditation can be practiced anytime all the time.
· Seek support. Evaluation by a mental health professional, such as a licensed clinical social worker, can also help you deal with stress and provide pain relief.
Pain can affect your quality of life, but learning how to cope with stress can help you manage that pain and lessen its harmful impact.