Newsom discusses playbook for people dealing with the stress of isolation

Gov. Gavin Newsom. Courtesy of the Office of the Governor
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Gov. Gavin Newsom discussed Tuesday the importance of recognizing your stress and dealing with it through the helpful steps dictated in the surgeon general’s “stress playbook.” 

The playbook includes a list of key strategies people can use to support their own mental and physical health every day while they’re at home, in isolation or heading to their essential employment. 

“That stress is manifest, that stress is real, and all of us work through that stress differently,” said Newsom during a press conference Tuesday. “No one can moralize how some people deal with it versus others.”

California Surgeon General Dr. Nadine Burke Harris discussed that maintaining emotional and spiritual health are critical factors in ensuring physical and mental health. 

“The health impacts of coronavirus go beyond infection and COVID disease,” said Harris. “It is important to recognize that stress related to the pandemic that many are feeling right now, compounded by the economic distress due to lost wages, employment and financial assets, plus school closures and sustained physical distancing, can trigger the biological stress response, which also has an impact on our health and well being.”

The playbook lists six key strategies that can people do as a part of their routine: 

  • Supportive relationships: Maintain supportive relationships wherever you can, including virtually.
  • Exercise: Engage in 60 minutes of physical activity every day, if you can. It doesn’t have to be all at one time.  
  • Sleep: Get sufficient, high-quality sleep. This may be particularly hard right now, but going to sleep and waking up at the same time each day can help. 
  • Nutrition: Ensure you are getting proper nutrition to help combat stress. 
  • Mental health support: Resources available here.
  • Mindfulness: Practice mindfulness in whatever way works best for you. This could be things like meditation, yoga, or prayer for 20 minutes, two times a day.

The playbook also lists a number of ways parents can help their children navigate their stress by guiding parents to keep an eye out for stress in their kids, planning tools to reduce stress, and strategies for stress reduction. 

For more information about the state playbook, visit  https://covid19.ca.gov/manage-stress-for-health/#top.

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