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I've been asked to do a post on how to manage anxiety and other mental health symptoms that may be popping up or exacerbated by the #pandemic. As a psychiatrist I can't help manage ventilators or relieve our tired ER physicians so hopefully this is a small way I can be helpful:
1. News and social media can be a vital source of information updates but there's a fine line between being informed and getting overwhelmed by (mis)information. Bombarding yourself like that is a surefire way to worsen anxiety; try to unplug and disconnect for a few hours a day
2. Exercise is a powerful stress buster and mood booster - it literally grows new brain cells! Your gym may be closed so get creative about other ways to move your body. Find some exercises on YouTube or dig out an old workout DVD.
3. Get outside and go for a walk (while keeping appropriate distance from others). The fresh air will do you a world of good.
Maybe now is the time to dabble with mindfulness or meditation! There are lots of great apps that can provide a beginner with some guidance.
4. Try your best to maintain some sense of routine even during extended periods indoors. Those who work from home will tell you the importance of consistent wake up times and showering and changing clothes even if you don't go out.
5. Learn a new skill! @stoonlibrary has lots of online resources like an online language learning platform. Imagine coming out of the pandemic having learned how to speak Spanish!
6. Combat self quarantine-induced loneliness. We will have to be intentional about our social connection. Call, text, email. Lots of apps like Instagram and WhatsApp have group video call capabilities. Kindness is the perfect antidote to isolation. Check in on each other 💞
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