Coping with Stress

Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations. The changes that can happen because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the ways we try to contain the spread of the virus can affect anyone. During times of increased social distancing, people can still maintain social connections and care for their mental health.

You may experience increased stress during this pandemic. Fear and anxiety can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions. It’s important to take care of your family and friends, but it should be balanced with care for yourself. Coping with stress during COVID-19 will make you, your loved ones, and your community stronger.

Daily Life

COVID-19 has brought many changes to daily life. Even people who felt like they were coping well early on, started feeling the stress as the pandemic continued. People were worried about work, paying bills, or children going to school (at home or in person). Many of us missed seeing family and friends during the holidays.

As more of us are getting vaccinated and some restrictions are being lifted or eased, some people are feeling concerned about “life returning to normal.” Will visiting friends and family put them at risk? Is it safe to return to pre-COVID activities? What will my workplace be like after COVID? These concerns may contribute to you feeling anxious, afraid, easily frustrated, or angry. 

What can you do once you are fully vaccinated?

Recommendations for fully vaccinated people are updated as new information is made available. We know that COVID-19 vaccines are effective at preventing severe COVID-19 disease and that other prevention steps help stop the spread of COVID-19 even more. If you are fully vaccinated, you can start doing many things that you had stopped doing because of the pandemic, like visiting your grandchildren or hugging your best friend. 

When choosing safer activities, consider how COVID-19 is spreading in your community, the number of people taking part in the activity, and the location of the activity. Outdoor visits and activities are safer than indoor activities, and fully vaccinated people can safely participate in some indoor events, without much risk. If you have not yet been fully vaccinated, you should continue to protect yourself and others by following public health recommendations that help stop the spread including wearing a mask, avoiding crowds, and washing your hands often. To maximize protection from the Delta variant and prevent possibly spreading it to others, wear a mask indoors in public if you are in an area of substantial or high transmission.

  • Fully vaccinated means 2 weeks or more have passed since getting the second dose of a two-dose vaccine (e.g.,Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine), or 2 weeks or more have passed since getting 1 dose of a single-dose vaccine (Johnson & Johnson/Janssen). This also applies to COVID-19 vaccines that have been authorized for emergency use by the World Health Organization (e.g., AstraZeneca/Oxford).
  • If you have a condition or are taking medications that weaken your immune system, you may not be fully protected even if you are fully vaccinated. You should continue taking all precautions until your healthcare provider says you no longer need to do so.

For the most up to date information, visit VDH’s When You’ve Been Fully Vaccinated or CDC's Activities, Gatherings & Holidays.

For More Information:

For General Public: 

For Children and Teens: 

For Healthcare Providers and Healthcare Workers:

Page last reviewed: October 12, 2021