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As social distancing is becoming the new — albeit temporary — normal, there’s a chance it might leave many of us feeling a bit anxious, stressed or overwhelmed.
That’s normal and perfectly OK. We’re here to remind you none of us are alone in this COVID-19 emergency. While we may be physically apart, each of us is coping in their own way and we’re all stressed.
It’s important to remember that these are unprecedented times. We’ll be talking about this moment for the rest of our lives likely.
Psychologist Lisa Damour recently echoed this sentiment on a Unicef blog regarding teen mental health in this time of crisis.
“Psychologists have long recognized that anxiety is a normal and healthy function that alerts us to threats and helps us take measures to protect ourselves,” she said. “Your anxiety is going to help you make the decisions that you need to be making right now — not spending time with other people or in large groups, washing your hands and not touching your face.”
Was that reassuring? We hope so.
It’s important to take care of yourself during these times of social distancing. Part of that includes managing your stress and anxiety. There are some really simple ways to help combat this type of stress and anxiety:
• Do the activities you enjoy. It’s OK to check out every once and while.
• Find ways to connect with friends.
• Take care of your body, be sure to exercise, try to eat well and get plenty of sleep.
• Take breaks from COVID-19. Again, it’s OK to check out every once and while.
• Wash your hands. (You should be doing that anyway, but it’s still worth noting.)
To get through the weeks ahead self-care will be critical. Our advice is to keep it simple. Reach out to friends, text them, tweet them, call them, set up a zoom session. Make those connections and do it daily.
Watch movies and shows you love. Take a shower. Call your loved ones. Be sure to read. Do a couple of push-ups maybe even some jumping jacks. Start that craft project you’ve been putting off.
Have some fun, fellow Kansans. Just please do it at least six feet apart and not in groups.
It may seem counterproductive or out of the norms, but these types of activities are how we beat this outbreak.
We’ll get through this. Just remember stress and anxiety are normal, just be sure to manage them.