Managing Stress Through Uncertainty and Change


We hope you’re staying healthy and safe as we navigate the challenges of COVID-19. Although living in the midst of a pandemic can add a layer of uncertainty to our everyday lives, there are some things we can do to bring order back to how we eat, drink, and manage our day-to-day stress. For today’s post, we reached out to Dr. Megan Riehl, psychologist from Michigan Medicine and Epicured Partner in Health, to provide perspective.

Please remember that the most important measure to protect you and your family from COVID-19 is social distancing and proper hand washing. We encourage these tips provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

A few words of wisdom from Dr. Riehl

“These are uncertain times and the impact of the COVID-19 should certainly be taken seriously. I encourage you to be cautious, not catastrophic! Allow yourself to acknowledge the anxiety you have about the current situation, the unknowns, and how your life is being impacted. Then, take a moment to breathe, very deeply, and center yourself back into the present moment. Resist the urge to constantly check social media and the news for the latest update or closing; limit your screen time to 30 minutes a day. This will help you to become more comfortable with uncertainty.

Focus on what you’re able to do right now. Step up your self-care by getting extra sleep, spending time with family outside in the fresh air, eating nutritious meals, and engaging in relaxation. These actions can strengthen your immune system which is ideal at this time. 

Finally, don’t forget the power of human resiliency. While these are scary times, be the good in the world. Be kind to others and have extra patience with those who may have added stress due to fears over their health. In times like this, kindness is critical.” 

-Dr. Megan Riehl, GI psychologist Michigan Medicine, Epicured Partner in Health. 


Here’s a lovely image to share with your loved ones and friends on social media.

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Surrounding yourself with community is also crucial for our wellbeing, even if, for now, that community is virtual. IBS Patient Support Group and Epicured have come together to convene a weekly group to give a safe space to connect, restore, and find support. It’s free and open to anyone. 


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