Mental Health and COVID-19: Tips for stress or anxiety while social distancing

North Andover Health Department
Community and Economic Development Division

Mental Health and COVID-19: Tips for stress or anxiety while social distancing

The outbreak of COVID-19 is a challenging time for all people. When the fear and anxiety about the disease is combined with social distancing, it can lead to increased stress and heightened anxiety in individuals. However, there are many different ways to cope with stress, anxiety, and other aspects of mental health while this situation is ongoing. Here are some ways to recognize stress, as well as some tips and resources to help you deal with how you are feeling during this time.

Stress during an infectious disease outbreak can include:

  • Fear and worry about your own health and the health of loved ones

  • Change in sleeping or eating patterns

  • Difficulty sleeping or concentrating

  • Worsening of chronic health problems

  • Increased use of alcohol, tobacco or other drugs

Ways to deal with increased stress or anxiety

  1. Separate what is in your control from what is not – Focus on what you can do. Wash your hands and take your vitamins. Limit your consumption of news.

  2. Take a walk outside – utilize a nearby hiking trail through the woods, or take a walk through the park. Make sure to maintain social distancing requirements and follow any signage on site. 

  3. Stay connected and reach out for support – FaceTime, call or text friends to stay in touch. Talk about your thoughts and how you feel. If you’re feeling particularly anxious or struggling with your mental health, it’s ok to reach out to a mental health professional for support. 

  4. Utilize different techniques to relax – Stretch, breathe deeply or meditate. Try to eat healthy, well balanced meals, regularly exercise, and get plenty of sleep. Make time for yourself to unwind and do activities you enjoy. 

Managing anxiety or stress related to unfolding news

  1. Get your information from trusted sources – visit the North Andover Health Department, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health or CDC’s website for updates and information. 

  2. Avoid obtaining news on social media – it is very easy for inaccurate or dangerous information to be spread rapidly on social media.

  3. Don’t be afraid to unplug – turn off the TV or put down your phone. Do an activity like reading or going for a walk that allows you to briefly disconnect from electronics. Avoid excess consumption of news or media.

Contacts and Resources

  • 24 hour Emergency/Crisis Line – (877) 382 1609

    • If you or a family member are experiencing a mental health or substance use disorder crisis, the Emergency Services Program/Mobile Crisis Intervention is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

  • Samaritans (24/7 helpline) – call or text 1-877 870 4673

    • Samaritans provide suicide prevention services throughout Greater Boston, MetroWest and across Massachusetts. Their mission is to reduce suicide incidence by alleviating despair, isolation, distress and suicidal feelings.

  • SAMHSA’s Disaster Distress Helpline (24/7, 365 days a year) – 1-800 985 5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746

    • The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has a disaster distress helpline available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week that can be contacted via phone call or text message. The disaster distress helpline provides crisis support service for anyone experiencing emotional distress from disasters related to weather or nature, infectious disease outbreaks, and other traumatic events.

  • Visit the Massachusetts Network of Care at to locate behavioral health resources in your area

  • Coronavirus Anxiety Workbook – A tool to help you build resilience during difficult times

  • National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) – COVID-19 resource and information guide


    • This NAMI booklet contains numerous resources and information to help answer questions and provide resources or guidance related to many aspects of life during COVID-19.  

  • Healthcare Personnel during Coronavirus and other infectious disease outbreaks 

Mental Health & COVID-19.pdf


1-Day Trash and Recycling Collection Delay starting Monday, April 20, 2020 / Earth Day Clean-Up Cancelled

There will be no trash and recycling collection on Monday, April 20th, 2020.  Collection will be delayed one day for the remainder of the week.

The Earth Day clean-up, sponsored by the Sustainability Committee, scheduled for April 26, 2020 has been cancelled.


Don’t forget to pre-register today for Monday! The North Andover Food Assistance Program WILL BE distributing food on Patriots Day, Monday, April 20, 2020.

The North Andover Food Assistance Program WILL BE distributing food on Patriots Day, Monday, April 20, 2020.  

Pick-up will take place at the High School from 11am-1pm.  

You will be asked for your confirmation number, so you MUST pre-register.

Pre-order online here or call 978-208-6070, option 3.

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