WASHINGTON — Whether you are in the rubber industry, the tire business or really anywhere else these days, the stress of the coronavirus is real.
With the country, and the world, facing uncertainty surrounding the illness officially known as COVID-19, people are worried about their families, their jobs and even their lives.
While more and more information is coming out every day, so much is still unknown.
With unprecedented steps being taken by local, state and federal governments in an attempt to control the spread of the virus, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers tips about how people, both employers and employees, can deal with the mental side of crisis.
Things you can do to support yourself:
"Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting," the CDC suggests.
"Take care of your body. Take deep breaths, stretch, or meditate. Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep, and avoid alcohol and drugs," the agency suggests. "Make time to unwind. Try to do some other activities you enjoy."
Connecting with others to discuss your concerns and feelings also is helpful. And the CDC suggests contacting a health care provider "if stress gets in the way of your daily activities for several days in a row."
It's important to understand that not all employees and employers will react the same to stressful situations, the CDC said.
How you respond to the outbreak can depend on your background, the things that make you different from other people, and the community you live in, the agency said.
A paradox in handling the situation involves staying informed but not being overwhelmed by information.
The virus is 24/7 these days, and the World Health Organization (WHO) agrees that unplugging from the information, at times, is important for mental health.
"Minimize watching, reading or listening to news that causes you to feel anxious or distressed; seek information only from trusted sources and mainly to take practical steps to prepare your plans and protect yourself and loved ones. Seek information updates at specific times during the day, once or twice," the WHO recommends.
"The sudden and near-constant stream of news reports about an outbreak can cause anyone to feel worried. Get the facts; not the rumors and misinformation. Gather information at regular intervals," the agency said.
Separating facts from rumors also can help minimize fear, the WHO suggests.
Seeking out positive and hopeful stories and images about people who have contracted the virus and recovered also can help in times of stress, the agency suggested. These positive stories can include people who supported those who have recovered.
The Anxiety and Depression Association of America suggests that people can reframe their views on the isolation the virus will cause as more and more people stay home.
Clinical psychologist Aarti Gupta, in an article posted to the association's website, suggests people reframe their time at home to an attitude of "I can finally focus on my home and myself," instead of feeling stuck inside.