‘Self-care is going to be important’ – Dealing with coronavirus anxiety

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Concern over the coronavirus COVID-19 continues to grow in New Jersey as more cases of the virus are confirmed. As the situation changes each day, anxiety among some New Jersey residents grows – and mental health experts say that this is OK.

“Anxiety thrives on uncertainty, and so we’re in a very uncertain time. The unknown is frightening,” says Dr. Rachel Strohl with Stress & Anxiety Services of New Jersey.

Strohl says that the changes in one’s daily routine and not knowing how long the situation will last is contributing to the stress.

“We’re going to worry. And so, to say, ‘Don’t worry’ would be sort of denying a human emotion. Acknowledge you’re going to worry, but we don’t want to overreact to that worry,” she says.

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Strohl says that people should limit their information intake, especially since there is a lot of misinformation about the virus out there.

“You want to help limit those activities that are feeding the fear. Limit the excessive checking. I’d say limit some social media,” she says.

Strohl also says that distracting oneself now and then would be beneficial. Read a book, watch TV, play a game with family members or even go outside for a walk.

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“Do things that you enjoy. The self-care is going to be so important,” Strohl says.

And she says to remember that this situation is only temporary.

“This is normal. It’s normal to fear that our life for a temporary period – and that’s key – may be disrupted,” she says.

And for children who may be feeling anxious – experts recommend that parents find out how much the child already knows about the outbreak and help them distinguish facts from fiction.

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