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When you are exposed to traumatic events, such as a natural disaster or the COVID-19 pandemic, most people show signs of stress. This is normal. Over time these feelings should decrease. Until they do, there are things you can do to help relieve stress.

Keep yourself healthy

  • Eat healthy foods and drink water
  • Avoid excessive amounts of caffeine and alcohol
  • Do not use tobacco or illegal drugs
  • Get enough sleep and rest
  • Get physical exercise.

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Use practical ways to relax

  • Relax your body often by doing the things that work for you — take deep breaths, stretch, meditate, engage in pleasurable hobbies, or even do something as simple as washing your face and hands
  • Pace yourself between stressful activities and do a fun thing after a hard task
  • Use time off to relax — eat a good meal, read, listen to music, or talk to family
  • Talk about your feelings to loved ones and friends often.

Pay attention to your body, feelings and spirit

  • Recognize and heed early warning signs of stress
  • Recognize how your own past experiences affect your way of handling this event and think of how you handled past events. Focus on the ways you handled them well
  • Know that feeling stressed, depressed, guilty or angry is common after a traumatic event
  • Take time to renew your spirit through meditation, prayer or helping others in need.

Places you can get help (PDF)
More information on how to manage stress (PDF)
Information for children (PDF)

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Need to talk to someone? Help is available.

Telephone support that’s safe and supportive.

Warmlines MN
Call 651-288-0400 or 877-404-3190
or text "support" to 85511

Are you or someone you know having a mental health crisis?

To talk for free to professionals who can help:

More sources for help

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