6 ways to reduce coronavirus stress

Children engaged in indoor activities.

U of M Extension experts offer six ways you can reduce your coronavirus stress.

#1 Plan your garden. Garden season will come soon, and it’s a good time to plan. “A garden plan can be as simple or as elaborate as you wish,” says Julie Weisenhorn, an Extension horticulture educator.

#2 Learn about pollinators online. “The large size of bumble bees and the relative ease of identification make them an excellent entry point for aspiring citizen scientists,” says Britt Forsberg, Extension’s coordinator for the Minnesota Bee Atlas project.

#3 Get into nature. Drive, bike, walk or run to the forest or prairie. “Hiking reduces stress and increases cardiovascular health,” says Angela Gupta, an Extension forestry educator based in Rochester.

#4 Make time for a project. You can shop in your own closet or garage for project materials. “Woodshop is a big one for 4-H families,” says Toni Gage, an Extension youth development educator in Aitkin County.

#5 Give ‘grace’ to yourself and your family. “You know your kids, so…trust yourself,” says Ellie McCann, an Extension family resilience educator. Some children may need more activity, while others may need more rest—and that’s okay. “This won’t last forever, so give them and yourself grace.”

#6 Hug your animals. If your children want to cocoon for part of the day with a beloved pet right now, it’s okay to let them do it, says Joe Armstrong, an Extension veterinarian: “Continue to pet (and hug) your favorite livestock or companion animals.”

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