Staying safe and coping with coronavirus (COVID-19)

Updated on

This advice is based on our medical staff and CDC guidelines about COVID-19. We update this site when new information is available. New information may also be available from the CDC.

Is this an emergency?

If you’re suffering from a life threatening condition, stop and call 911.

We’re here to help. Get practical tools and reliable advice to help you look after your own physical, emotional, and mental health, and to support others.

Mental health and COVID-19 

Do you feel unsafe or in danger at home?

Stop and call 911 when you or someone you know is in danger or needs to get to a safe space.

We understand home is not always safe. You are not alone. 

Don’t be afraid to get help if you need it, and to give help if you can. 

Get help for domestic violence

National Domestic Violence Hotline

Crisis Text Line

  • Text HOME to 741741
  • Available 24/7 for victims of abuse and any other type of crisis

If you suspect child abuse

Get help for alcohol or substance overuse

If you are having thoughts of suicide

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Lifeline Crisis Chat

If you are grieving or have lost someone

National Helpline

  • Call 1-800-662-HELP (1-800-662-4357)
  • Available 24/7, 365-day-a-year for free, confidential treatment referral and information in English and Spanish

Talks and training with our health experts

Our experts are hosting live webinars to share information for protecting and improving your health during the COVID-19 outbreak. 

We know that dealing with the uncertainties and unfamiliar new routines in our daily lives can be difficult. 

Now is a great time to practice self care and use any extra hours in your day to focus on your wellbeing.  

Select the health topics that you want to hear more about and put them on your calendar on Wednesdays.

Register for upcoming August webinars

  • Staying Fit at Home
  • Exercising Safely In The Heat
  • Your Guide to Getting Better Sleep
  • Sessions will be recorded and posted on our COVID-19 webinars page

Wednesdays in August starting at 3PM ET/12PM PT

Home Office Ergonomics

Back by popular demand! Take a pause with us in your workday for the sake of your neck, back, joints and muscles. Crossover Chiropractors will give their advice on how to set up your work station, learn some posture hacks, get your recommended daily stretch breaks and take care of your musculoskeletal system—for you to feel pain free and prevent injuries. You’ll also hear about our virtual appointments available for one-on-one ergonomic assessments.

Making Sense of COVID-19 Testing

Infectious Disease Specialist, Dr. Megan Coffee will answer many questions about testing for the COVID-19 virus. She’ll simplify the current landscape of media reports which seems to change daily. What are the different types of tests? Can anyone get a test? Which ones are effective? How accurate are the results? Am I immune?

Healthy Eating Hacks

Join Crossover health coaches to learn healthy eating “hacks,” kitchen shortcuts and simple meal ideas to make eating more fun and more nutritious. These dietitians love to talk about food, and it shows. They will share their favorite meal and snack tips that are sure to fit your busy lifestyle, and change the way you view your relationship with food. The end result is delicious food and better health choices for improved sleep, mood, stress levels, and more.

Staying Fit at Home

No matter what your fitness level is, you can build exercise into your routine at home—even a one-minute plank during commercials or a 10-minute cardio routine makes a difference. In this webinar we’ll share more ways to stay (or get) fit at home, including our Virtual Fitness Group Classes. We have an all-level Yoga/Mobility class, a bodyweight-only HIIT class for beginner/intermediate levels, and a Strength class to improve your athletic performance. Join us for a summary of options that will get your own at-home sweat sessions going.

Exercising Safely In The Heat

No matter where you live or what your lifestyle is, your summer has probably included lots of sunscreen (or lots of air conditioning). Whether you prefer low-impact moves in the shade or heart-pounding cardio in the sun, this webinar will help. Learn how to exercise safely during the warmer months of the year, including tips for beating the heat (hint: stay hydrated). You’ll also discuss which exercises warm you up, which stretches help you cool down, and what to eat both before and after workouts to best feed your muscles and metabolism. Sign up and get ready to start a safer, healthier regimen!

Pregnancy Support during the Pandemic

This webinar was created to help support our pregnant patients and their partners during this difficult time of COVID-19. We will utilize the expertise of a multidisciplinary team—a family medicine doctor, a psychologist, and an acupuncturist—all with advanced training in maternal health to provide patients with concrete steps and actions they can take to help reduce stress and anxiety while preparing for a healthy pregnancy and labor.

Intuitive Eating

Intuitive eating is a “non diet” approach to improve our relationship with food and to stop dieting for good. Through the ten principles of intuitive eating, we will teach you how to identify hunger and fullness cues and how to become more mindful when eating. Having a mind-body connection is something we all strive for positive health benefits.

Home Office Ergonomics

Back by popular demand! Take a pause with us in your workday for the sake of your neck, back, joints and muscles. Crossover Chiropractors will give their advice on how to set up your work station, learn some posture hacks, get your recommended daily stretch breaks and take care of your musculoskeletal system—for you to feel pain free and prevent injuries. You’ll also hear about our virtual appointments available for one-on-one ergonomic assessments.

Navigating Relationships during COVID-19 — Part 2 (Family & Friends)

The topic of relationships, especially in times of elevated uncertainty, is top of mind for many of us, so we thought it deserved two webinars. While the first relationship webinar focused on romantic relationships, this second webinar will cover our relationships with friends and family, as well as how to handle dating and loneliness.

Navigating Relationships during COVID-19 — Part 1 (Significant Other)

The turmoil caused by COVID-19 puts us outside of our comfort zones. Understandably, many of us are reacting to this anxiety which is creating problems in our relationships as partners, parents, and roommates. Nevertheless, this is an opportunity to strengthen our relationships. Learn from our behavioral health specialists how to navigate the stressors of the pandemic, how it affects our behaviors, and come out stronger on the other side.  

Coping with COVID-19

Dealing with the new realities of our world can be overwhelming and stressful for you and your loved ones. Hear how to maintain an appropriate balance and optimistic perspective while staying informed and healthy during COVID-19. 

Dealing with Digital Eye Strain

With increased hours working and social distancing at home, there is a high probability of added stress on your eyes. Eye strain from heavy electronic device use can cause headaches, fatigue, dry eyes and other symptoms. Join our optometrists to learn ways to reduce eye strain and prevent other effects while keeping a focus on healthy eyes.

Dealing with Grief in COVID-19: Loss, Resiliency and Hope

This webinar will guide you through the different types of grief we are collectively experiencing during this pandemic. We discuss the loss of safety, lifestyles, milestones (like graduations), and sadly, human lives. We identify healthy coping responses and resources as well as community support. Despite these times of uncertainty, we emphasize the strength of resilience and hope.

Healthy, Fit, and Sound at Home

While we are social distancing and limiting face-to-face contact, our Health Coaches have put together a session on how to maintain or incorporate physical fitness, establish balance at home, and make healthy food choices during this challenging time.

Meditation Nation

Connecting our mind and body in a disconnected time can help to create calmness for anxiety and depression—even binge eating and life transitions. Learn from our psychologist on the practice of meditation and mindfulness and its various roles for great health benefits.

New Approaches to Stress Reduction

When our Acupuncturists can’t be “hands on” they are still working with patients to help with self-care such as acupressure, explain how Traditional Chinese Medicine can be effective, and explore mind-body techniques for healing and restorative care. Learn effective stress reducers for the whole family to try together or for when you need some “me” time.

Setting Your Healthy Eating Goals

We know on top of everything else, you’re likely getting bombarded by ways to manage your weight, working out at home, and feeling the pressure to avoid the “COVID-15”. Let’s talk about this. Is now really the right time to address your weight? Does weight change always equal healthier? Our lead Health Coach will review some popular diets—Keto, Paleo, intermittent fasting—and the pros/cons of each to help you feel more confident about choosing a way of eating that feels right for you and your health goals, using well-researched behaviors that generally lead to better and sustainable health regardless of weight change.

Working from Home (ergonomics)

Our chiropractors give advice on how to set up your pain-free work station (i.e., not the couch), learn some posture hacks, get your recommended daily stretch breaks and take care of your musculoskeletal system—for you to feel your best as we make the best of our current situation.

Your Guide to Getting Better Sleep

Sleep is our body’s way of reenergizing. If you are getting poor sleep, which so many of us are during COVID-19, it can have a domino effect on your daily life with fatigue, mood swings, low concentration, high anxiety and unhealthy choices. Learn how to get better sleep for overall better health.

Staying fit with workouts at home

Join us in staying healthy while staying safe

Crossover is providing free at-home workouts with our certified trainers online for all ages and abilities. All are welcome.

We understand that being cooped up at home, although necessary at this time, can make us stressed out or inactive.

Regular exercise has direct stress-busting benefits and pumps up your brain’s feel-good hormones. It’s absolutely crucial for mental, emotional, and physical health, including boosting your immune system. 


Virtual Fitness Group Classes

With each of these live virtual classes, you’ll be working with some of the industry’s best trainers. You must sign up here to participate. All are welcome!

  • Yoga/Mobility Class (All Levels)–optimize your mobility, improve range of motion, and reduce stress!
    • Wednesday 7AM PDT / 10AM EDT
    • Fridays 12PM PDT/ 3PM EDT
  • Bodyweight-only HIIT Class (Beginner/Intermediate)–burn fat and add lean muscle without equipment!
    • Mondays 7AM PDT / 10AM EDT
    • Wednesdays 5PM PDT / 8PM EDT
  • Strength Class (Intermediate/Advanced)–maximize strength and improve athletic performance. For this class, equipment is highly recommended. Once you’ve registered, you’ll receive a confirmation email and a link to our recommended equipment kit for purchase on Amazon.
    • Tuesdays 12:30PM PDT / 3:30PM EDT
    • Thursdays 7AM PTD / 10AM EDT

With each of these virtual classes, you’ll be working with some of the industry’s best trainers. Sign Up Here!

Peace of mind

Anxiety disorders and COVID-19

It is important to get professional help or stay connected with your therapist.

Many people have found our online webinar Coping with COVID-19 with our head psychologist to be very helpful.

Feelings of anxiety take many forms and affect many people. For example, you may have been, or could be, diagnosed with panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

Many people have found our online webinar Coping with COVID-19 with our head psychologist to be very helpful.

Most therapists will work with you by phone or video during COVID-19.

When COVID-19 makes you feel stressed

Recognize the signs of stress

Stress can cause symptoms like:

  • sadness, confusion, irritability, anger, uneasiness, and suicidal thoughts
  • lack of concentration, efficiency, and productivity
  • social withdrawal from others
  • interpersonal problems (like defensiveness, communication concerns)
  • sleeping problems (like insomnia, nightmares)

Staying up to date with information from reputable news sources like the CDC and the World Health Organization is important.

However, there is a lot of uncertainty surrounding the virus. It is important to manage what you can with the information you are provided but also release the need to control what you cannot.

It is a natural response to an external pressure that disrupts your equilibrium. Recognize your stress and do healthy things to reduce stress.

Get better sleep during COVID-19

We can’t control what’s happening in the world right now, but we can control our behaviors and take steps to prevent poor sleep.

Here are some daytime and nighttime tips to get better sleep. 

Daytime tips to help with sleep

  • Keep a consistent routine. Get up at the same time every day.
  • Get morning light. Light is the main controller of the natural body clock.
  • Exercise during the day helps improve your sleep quality at night.
  • Don’t use your bed as an escape. Stay out of bed during the day, and limit naps to 30 minutes.
  • Avoid caffeine late in the day.
  • Helping others may help with feelings of uncertainty or unease. 

Nighttime tips to help with sleep

  • Prepare for bedtime by shutting off the news and devices. Too much information can make it harder for your brain to turn off, and the light (even dim light) from devices may interfere with your body clock. 
  • Curl up with a book or listen to calm music.
  • Minimize alcohol intake. While you may think it helps you to fall asleep, it leads to more sleep problems at night.
  • Set a regular bedtime. Stick to your schedule.
  • Reduce stress. Try some slow breathing or yoga. Our online webinars have also helped our members to reduce stress and learn meditation.
  • Create a comfortable sleep environment. Sleep in a cool, dark, and quiet room. 

Using mindfulness to help with COVID-19

During this time of increased stress, uncertainty and change, many people are experiencing an increase in anxiety and worry. Those who may have existing anxiety conditions may start to feel a loss of control over symptoms they previously were able to hold in check. Mindfulness has been shown to decrease stress and anxiety and is linked to better coping.

Below are some simple mindfulness techniques which can be used to help decrease stress and anxiety.

5 mindfulness activities

  • 5-4-3-2-1 Technique: Name 5 things you can see, 4 things you can touch, 3 things you can hear, 2 things you can smell, 1 thing you can taste
  • Breathing Exercise: Spend 5 minutes engaging in mindful breathing. Become mindful of your breath. Does your breath have a sound? Where is your breath in your body? Is it fast or slow? Notice your breath as you breathe in and out. 
  • Body Scan: Lie on your back with your arms at your sides and palms faced up. Gradually focus your attention on each part of your body from head to toe or vice versa. Notice any physical sensations, thoughts, or emotions with each body part. Remember to maintain a nonjudgmental stance: notice your body without judgment. 
  • Walking Exercise: Find a quiet space that you can walk for about 15 feet. Start walking forward slowly, focusing on the experience of walking. Notice any sensations with each step, in addition to any thoughts and emotions that arise. Notice the experience of standing, walking, and maintaining balance.
  • Progressive Muscle Relaxation: This exercise involves a tensing and relaxing of each muscle group in your body, from head to toe or vice versa. Breathe in as your muscles tense, and breathe out as you relax them. Tense each muscle (but not to the point of pain) for about 7 seconds, then quickly relax the muscle. Relax for about 15 seconds before moving to the next muscle group. Notice how the muscles feel when they are tensed and how they feel when they are relaxed. When you are done with the exercise and have tensed each muscle group, gradually bring your attention back to the present. 

COVID-19 specific mental health issues

Recognizing COVID-19 stress and anxiety

Right now, it is important to recognize the signs of unhelpful or excessive pandemic-related anxiety, and to utilize effective coping strategies to increase our anxiety tolerance during these uncertain times and make us more confident and prepared to respond to pandemic-related challenges and adjustments.

Physical Signs: 

  • Increased muscle tension, particularly in neck and upper back
  • Fatigue
  • Disrupted sleep (frequent waking up) or insomnia
  • Restlessness
  • Increased heart rate and blood pressure
  • Chronic stomach pains or digestive issues

Behavioral Signs:

  • Isolating from others and decreasing hobbies/pleasant activities
  • Excessive time spent seeking out COVID-related information (e.g. news, CDC website, etc.)
  • Seeking reassurance from others 
  • Increased substance use, such as alcohol but also caffeinated beverages
  • Inability to complete tasks (“Jumping from one activity to the next”)
  • Impaired performance in major life roles (e.g. work, school)

Mental Signs: 

  • Increase in worrying (e.g. “What if” thoughts) about a variety of topics
  • Increased negative thoughts experienced as unwanted or intrusive (“Can’t turn my mind off”), particularly late at night or early in morning
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • forgetfulness, inattentiveness
  • More pessimistic, quick to go to “worst case scenarios”
  • Increased attention and focus on health or physical symptoms 

Emotional Signs: 

  • Excessive anxiety that person experiences as “out of their control”
  • Feeling constantly overwhelmed
  • Panic attacks
  • Frequently changing moods
  • Irritability
  • Feelings of hopelessness or helplessness

Strategies to cope with COVID-19

Below are a few evidenced-based techniques, suggestions and resources that can be utilized during moments of increasing anxiety or in general during our daily lives.

If you are feeling in need of more support, please reach out for professional help or re-establish connection with an existing provider. Many therapists will work with you by phone or video during COVID-19 and most states have eased restrictions on providing tele-psychotherapy during the pandemic to allow greater access to care.

  • Avoid overconsumption of news: Many people, when feeling anxious and uncertain, seek out more information on whatever is causing them stress as a way to reassure. During the COVID pandemic, many have reported spending hours watching news reports, reading over the CDC website or tracking statistical information. Unfortunately, these behaviors often result in more time and energy spent worrying about things that remain outside of our control. Try to limit yourself to a small amount of time each day for COVID news consumption (would not recommend more than 30 minutes each day) and think about other, healthy behaviors you could substitute into that time (e.g. Going for a walk, calling a friend, engaging in a new hobby).
  • Avoid isolating and seek safe social interactions: We are more likely to experience anxiety and worry when we are alone due to our mind having more space to hold and engage with anxious thoughts. This has been compounded by our need to remain safe through social distancing and removal from our normal social interactions (e.g. work, gym). Think of ways each day to remain connected and engaged with your social relationships even if from a distance. Some examples could be a weekly virtual “Group Movie Night” or have you and a friend virtually make a recipe together from your kitchens.
  • Need for Self-Care : It is important to recognize the extraordinary circumstances and stress everyone is under during the pandemic. This has a way of showing up not only emotionally through anxiety and depression, but also physically by increased fatigue and mentally through reduced concentration and forgetfulness. Make a point each day to do one nice, healthy thing for yourself as a way of slowing yourself down and showing gratitude to yourself for your resiliency. Some examples are taking a long, warm bath/shower or sitting outside and slowly enjoying a nice cup of coffee or tea.   
  • Be Mindful: If you begin to feel stressed or anxious, use mindfulness techniques to help de-stress.
  • Know the signs to seek professional support: Mental health care utilization has increased during the pandemic, and that’s a good thing. It means people are recognizing a need for additional support and finding help available when they reach out. If anxiety has reached a level where it’s taking up most of your time in the day and making it difficult to function in important life roles such as at work, please consider reaching out to a provider for support.  If you’re feeling the need to talk to someone immediately, dial 911 or use the Crisis Text Line—free, confidential, and available 24/7. Text SHARE to 741741

Coping with COVID-Related Grief

The COVID-19 pandemic has taken the lives of over 200,000 Americans, causing unimaginable levels of emotional pain, suffering and grief for surviving family members. Processing these losses, as well as the death of loved ones from non-COVID related reasons, has been made all the more difficult by our lack of ability to gather in-person as families and communities to mourn.

As a result, traditional coping supports and outlets that would help us through our grief are unavailable to us, leading many to feel isolated, lost and “stuck” in their grieving process. This can put people at increased risk for a mental health condition known as Complicated Bereavement, in which symptoms of severe grief and mourning persist for several months and cause a serious negative impact on functioning and overall health.

Because maintaining a support network and remaining connected to your emotions during grief are so important, below is a list of a few helpful coping suggestions and COVID-related adjustments that can help reduce the risk of complicated bereavement and help individuals navigate their grief:

  • Remember that grieving is a process that it takes time to resolve. Be careful not to hold yourself to expectations or timelines for when you should start feeling better or “haved moved on”.
  • Allow yourself to hold and sit with your feelings, even if they seem overwhelming. Avoid trying to suppress or distract yourself from negative feelings, as trying to “shut it out” will only cause the feelings to linger and stifle movement through your grief.
  • Seek outlets for your emotions and memories of your loved one, such as writing, artwork, music, cooking. Expressing your grief in this way helps you feel more in control of the emotions and increases your connection with positive memories of your loved one.
  • Create a memorial to your loved one that you and others can contribute to. Some ideas people have used during COVID are a virtual book or webpage where people can share memories, pictures and stories, or a creating a physical reminder of the loved one, such as planting a tree or starting a garden.
  • Prioritize staying connected with others, even if it means virtually. Problematic grief is more likely to develop when we’re isolated, so making a point to plan distanced social interactions is very important during a time of grief. Some examples of this could be planning a shared weekly virtual activity with a friend or family member, such as watching a movie or cooking. 
  • Consider holding a virtual memorial event for your loved one. If this feels overwhelming from too many people attending at once, consider a core group of family being present and asking guests to “arrive” at specified time points and to briefly share their condolences or a statement with the family.
  • Consider reaching out for extra support, particularly if feeling lonely or isolated. Along with tele-therapy, other virtual support options include religious leaders in your faith community, local grief support groups, and national grief hotlines. 

Should I drink alcohol during COVID-19

The CDC emphasizes that alcohol use can alter thoughts, judgements, and decisions-making skills.  It can alter judgment and increase risky behaviors.  If these behaviors include not maintaining social distancing or not wearing a mask properly, then this can increase your risk of developing COVID-19.  It is important to understand that drinking alcohol does not protect you from COVID-19, instead it increases your risk for COVID-19.  

The CDC also states that alcohol can also make it harder for your body to fight off infections. This can increase the length of an illness as well as increase risk of complications.  Pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome are two conditions that can occur with alcohol intake.  These conditions can also occur with COVID-19.

Alcohol can also worsen anxiety, depression, and other mental health conditions.  Alcohol can also affect the quality and duration of sleep, making it harder to deal with stressors.  Avoiding alcohol is probably best during the pandemic, but if you do choose to drink, then drinking in moderation or less is best.  Moderate drinking has been defined by the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for American as up to one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men.  Certain people, such as pregnant women, minors, and people taking certain medications should not drink any alcohol at all.