Managing Anxiety Around COVID-19

Ohio Department of Health

With many Ohioans now returning to work, there may be a lot of people feeling anxiety about possibly being exposed to COVID-19 or even returning to their old routine after months of upturn.

Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton, M.D., MPH, strongly recommends that anyone feeling anxiety about returning to work, or the ongoing situation with COVID-19, use the following tips from the National Alliance on Mental Illness to help themselves adjust more easily.

Do everything you can to help protect yourself and others from getting sick. Taking these steps may help you feel more in control, while also helping to prevent the spread of infection.

Wash your hands regularly, for at least 20 seconds with soap and water.

Clean all high-touch areas every hour.

Wear a face mask or covering.

Stay six feet away from others when possible.

Stay home if you are sick and stay away from others experiencing symptoms if you can.

Use resources offered to you to help cope with the changes and emotions. If you see a therapist, continue to stay in touch during your transition back into your work routine.

You can also take advantage of the free COVID Careline to talk to someone about your concerns. They are available 24 hours a day at 1-800-720-9616.

Check out resources provided by the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services at

Try to embrace the return to structure. Lack of a routine can be a driving force for many mental illnesses and can heighten anxiety. If you can, try to get into your work routine at home before physically returning – wake up at the normal time, get bathed and dressed as you would normally, and try to return to your normal timeline during the day.

Try to make sure you are getting a healthy night’s sleep. While it may seem simple, getting enough sleep can make an incredible difference on our mood and amount of anxiety during the day. Try to get back to your routine from before quarantine and try to go to bed without interruptions to allow for the best rest possible.

Remember – it is okay and normal to feel anxious. There is nothing wrong with feeling anxious about changes and uncertain times, and you are not alone in these feelings.

For answers to your COVID-19 questions, call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH (1-833-427-5634).

Your mental health is just as important as your physical health. If you or a loved one are experiencing anxiety related to the coronavirus pandemic, help is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Call the COVID-19 CareLine at 1-800-720-9616.

Ohio Department of Health