Staff Report

If coronavirus news in recent weeks has made you feel more anxious and fearful than normal, you’re not alone. News about COVID-19, the novel coronavirus, can take an emotional and psychological toll – causing anger, worry, insomnia and a desire to isolate.

While COVID-19 should be taken seriously, there are ways to manage anxieties and fears. Most people recover well from COVID-19, just as with a cold or flu, without requiring medical care. Here are several methods to help manage increased anxiety and stress:

  1. Keep things in perspective and don’t panic. Use your judgment to determine your risk level based on the number of cases in your immediate area and your health status.
  2. Take a break from the news, but get the facts. Limit your time with news updates and check reliable sources such as the Centers for Disease Control at and
  3. Do what you can to prepare. Wash your hands with soap and water regularly. Cover a cough or sneeze. Don’t touch eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands. Stay home if you have a fever, cough or shortness of breath. Call your healthcare provider if you have severe symptoms.
  4. Take care of yourself by getting plenty of sleep, exercise and healthy foods.
  5. Talk to your children. Discuss the news with honest and age-appropriate information.
  6. Stay connected. Maintain social networks to express your feelings and relieve stress. If you choose to limit in-person interactions, use technology to keep in touch.
  7. Seek additional help. If you feel overwhelmed or have other reactions that effect job performance or personal relationships, consult with a trained and experienced mental health professional who can help you manage the stress and adversity.

About Cottage Health

The not-for-profit Cottage Health is the leader in providing advanced medical care to the Central Coast region.  Specialties include the Cottage Children’s Medical Center, Level 1 Trauma Center, Neuroscience Institute, Heart & Vascular Center, Center for Orthopedics, and Rehabilitation Hospital. The Cottage Health medical staff is comprised of more than 700 physicians, many with subspecialties typically found only at university medical centers. Last year, the Cottage Health hospitals in Goleta, Santa Barbara and Santa Ynez Valley provided inpatient care for 21,000 people, treated 80,000 patients through their 24-hour emergency departments and helped deliver 2,100 newborns.