The outbreak of Covid-19 (coronavirus disease) has been a stressful and anxiety provoking time for many of us. During times of uncertainty we may experience heightened levels of anxiety. Some of us may also experience fear and low mood. Understandably this time is stressful for many of us, the people we care about and our community. By thinking about the way we can manage our stress and anxiety, we are able to not only help ourselves with managing difficult thoughts and feelings, we are also supporting our loved ones and our community.

We all react differently to change, and to stressful situations. How you respond to a sudden change, such as no longer living a routine of going to work, exercising with others, socialising, attending the masjid or restaurants freely depends on your background, your coping strategies, and your experiences, as well as the social support you have around you.


People who may respond more strongly to the stress of a crisis include:

  • Older people and people with chronic diseases who are at higher risk for COVID-19

  • Children and teens

  • People who feel isolated and who may not have loved ones, friends and family near them

  • People who are helping with the response to COVID-19, like doctors and other health care providers, or first responders

  • People who have mental health conditions

Stress and anxiety during an infectious outbreak such as COVID-19 can include:

  •   Feeling overwhelmed with the news and amount of information on social media

  •   Fear about your health, and the health of loved ones

  •   People who have obsessive and compulsive disorder may experience an increase in symptoms

  •  Changes in eating or sleep patterns

  •  Difficulty sleeping or concentrating

  •  People with existing emotional and mental health problems may be triggered

Things we can do to support and manage anxiety at this time:

  • Develop a routine. Wake up, get showered and get dressed. This will help you to start your day, without feeling lethargic. If you are working from home, give yourself time for breaks. 

  • Part of your routine may include time for meditation or prayer – allow yourself to be present during this time, staying in the here and now. This can help to manage the anxiety and fear of not feeling in control over what is currently happening in our world, and the fear incited for our future.

  • If you have children, please remember that in these unprecedented times, home schooling is new both for you and your children; allow you and your child(ren) to have time during the day for fun and creativity, as we can also learn through play. What is most important during this time is to support our children to feel a sense of safety.

  • Try to take a break from the amount of time you are watching the news and spending time on social media, regarding covid-19. The constant influx of information can be distressing and can heighten anxiety. Try to set a window of time when you catch up on the news. You might decide to catch up on the news in the afternoon, as this may not disrupt your sleep (for example, if you decide to watch the news before bed, it may play on your mind, and impact your sleep, and if you watch the news first thing in the morning, you might ruminate on this during the day). Limit yourself to reading information only from official sources such as your local newspaper, the World Health Organisation (WHO). This will offer you credible information.

  • Take care of your body. You might want to put on a you tube video. At the moment Joe Wicks has a PE class available for children (search this on you tube). This might also support adults without children! Prayer, take deep breaths, stretch, or meditate. The following resources may support you to develop some stillness and calm within:

  • free access code: Together



  • Connect with others. Stay in touch with friends, colleagues and family. We live in a time where we can use Skype, FaceTime or good old fashioned telephone. You can use online social platforms to play games with your loved ones, which can help you feel connected. Many older relatives may be struggling to not be able to attend their local community centre / place of worship - help them to access FaceTime, or telephone their friends, which can aid them to feel socially connected during this time.

  • If ever was the time to start a new project that you have always wanted to do, now appears to be the time to do it. Baking, an art project, organising your cupboards? Now is the time to get started. 

  • If you live near an open green space (and while we are not in lockdown) it may be a good time to go for a long walk while practising social distancing. Being in nature can regulate your mood and anxiety.

Remember you are not alone in this, we are all in this together.