Stress, Flu and COVID-19

 

12/04/2021

Stress is part of modern life, earning a living, and raising children. Today, homeschooling, working from home and the anxiety of contracting COVID-19 causes stress and anxiety that can become overwhelming. Leading to overeating, loss of appetite, alcohol or drug abuse and social withdrawal.

 

When you have stress, your stress hormones (cortisol) are fired for a “fight or flight” response, this is to protect your body from harm, but when this happens constantly, day after day, it could put your health at serious risk.

 

Chronic stress can cause a variety of symptoms, irritability, anxiety, depression, headaches and insomnia. Constant stress causes a rise in blood pressure which can lead to a stroke or heart attack. Stress also affects your digestive system causing heartburn and acid reflux.

 

There are some stress management strategies that you may try.

 

Go easy on yourself, you are not alone in your struggle, chat to family or a friend about the way you are feeling.

 

Keep to a routine, stick to regular sleep, exercise, meal and work schedules. Make time for relaxation techniques, deep breathing and meditation when things become too overwhelming.

 

Include time to do things you enjoy, distract yourself from your worries, bake, read a book or learn a new hobby.

 

Being out in nature is a wonderful way to do de-stress, fresh air and sunshine are amazing for your body and mind, spend time in the garden or anywhere outdoors.

Staying active will relieve stress and anxiety, and manage your mood, follow an exercise routine online if you are unable to leave home. Include the whole family.

 

Manage your stress for the sake of your family. Negative behavior has a spiral effect and can only lead to more stress and anxiety.

 

People with chronic stress are susceptible to viral illnesses (colds, flu and COVID-19). Stress can also affect recovery time from illness or injury. Keep your immune system healthy by taking immune-boosting medication, Zinc, vitamin C and D.

 

Flu season is upon us. How do you know if you have flu or COVID-19?

 

Respiratory illness like the flu and COVID-19 have similar symptoms, fever, chills, headache, cough, muscle pain and body aches, fatigue, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

 

Because symptoms are so similar, the only way to confirm whether its COVID-19 or the flu is to be tested. We suggest you visit your health care practitioner, who will refer you for a test if necessary. Be aware you can have the flu and COVID-19 at the same time as they are different viruses.

 

There are however a few differences in symptoms. Flu comes on suddenly and will always have symptoms, whereas COVID -19 symptoms are more gradual, and some people might not have any symptoms at all (asymptomatic).

 

Flu causes a mild dry cough, whereas COVID-19 symptoms are more severe with a dry, persistent cough and shortness of breath.

 

Unique symptoms of COVID-19 are a sore throat and an ongoing fever with chills and sudden loss of taste or smell.

 

COVID-19 and the flu are highly contagious viruses. Stay at home especially if you have a fever, if your fever lasts longer than 24 hours get advice from your doctor.

 

Follow protocols for COVID-19 as this will help prevent contracting both COVID-19 and the flu virus. Regular handwashing, sanitizing, wearing a mask and social distancing.