Coping with stress

Work, home, relationships, social interactions have all been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. As we move toward a sense of normalcy, the stress that we have been experiencing is not going away. Fortunately, there is help.

Whether stress stems from learning new communication or technology tools, managing a different workload, handling concerns of in-person interactions, taking care of family or personal needs while working, or feeling you might not be contributing enough it can take its toll in unexpected ways. Learning to cope with stress in a healthy way will make you, the people you care about, and those around you become more resilient. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the first step to recognizing that you are stressed is to know what it looks like:*

  • Feeling irritation, anger, or denial
  • Feeling unusually uncertain, nervous, or anxious
  • Lacking motivation
  • Feeling tired, overwhelmed, or burned out
  • Feeling sad or depressed
  • Having trouble sleeping
  • Having trouble concentrating

Now that you know what it looks like, you can take steps to build your resilience and manage your stress.

  • Take advantage of Dallas ISD provided resources, such as the Employee Assistance Program.
  • Identify those things which you do not have control over and do the best you can with the resources available to you.
  • Increase your sense of control by developing a consistent daily routine when possible—ideally one that is similar to your schedule before the pandemic.
  • Keep a regular sleep schedule.
  • Take breaks from work to stretch, exercise or do something for yourself.
  • If you work from home, set a regular time to end your work for the day.
  • Spend time outdoors, either being physically active or just relaxing.
  • Do things you enjoy during non-work hours.
  • Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media.
  • Connect with others through phone calls, email, text messages, mailing letters or cards, video chat, and social media.
  • Check on others. Helping others improves your sense of control, belonging, and self-esteem.
  • If you feel you may be misusing alcohol or other drugs (including prescription drugs) as a means of coping, reach out for help.
  • If you are being treated for a mental health condition, continue with your treatment and be aware of any new or worsening symptoms.

Dallas ISD’s Employee Assistance Program by LifeWorks is a confidential and secure service that offers help with personal and work-related issues. The EAP encourages employees and those close to them to seek help early before a minor problem becomes more serious. The EAP is designed to address short-term issues, identify resources and referrals for emergency and long-term problems. It can provide support, referrals and, resources related to many concerns like depression, conflict at work, anxiety, drug and alcohol abuse, grief and loss and many others.

With EAP, there is no contribution that staff need to provide. Counselors are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Reach out to LifeWorks at (972) 925-4000 or visit and click on Benefits Resources to access online EAP information.

*Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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