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Experts give tips on dealing with stress and anxiety from the coronavirus pandemic

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Posted at 7:42 PM, Mar 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-18 19:42:57-04

SAFETY HARBOR, Fla. -- Many people are dealing with a lot of stress and anxiety right now from the uncertainty of the coronavirus pandemic but experts say there are ways to cope.

Every day, people are flooded with new information and regulations to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Many of us are stressed by the uncertainty of something we've never dealt with before.

But experts say worrying is a waste of time.

"We don’t know how things are going to go, so to worry about it is wasted energy," said Dr. Melissa Bailey, a clinical psychologist at Bailey Psychology Group in Safety Harbor.

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Bailey says there are ways to cope with the stress of isolation.

She says making a schedule of things to do each day like cooking, reading, and exercising or going for a walking, even finishing at-home projects you’ve been putting off can help.

"There are things that can be organized and cabinets that can be cleaned out and things that we put aside because we’re too busy. I think this is interesting because its really going to force us to slow down with our rat-race paced life and really try to focus on positive things," said Bailey.

Bailey suggests the following tips for dealing with Social Isolation and stay positive:

1. Reframe this time.

We all have projects that we have been wanting to get to like cleaning out that closet or garage!

2. This is a great time to reacquaint ourselves with our family and kids.

Break out the board games. There is a reason why we do games in therapy is kids. It is a great way to connect, talk and share. It also teaches kids social skills

3. Have a schedule.

Even if you are not doing anything, having a schedule gives us purpose. Schedule time to go for a walk. Schedule when you are going to cook dinner, etc.

4. Reach out to your support network.

Luckily most of us communicate via social media, text, and email. Keep it up. Call your elderly friends and family. A phone call will completely brighten their day.

5. Now is a great time to work on your home-based exercise routine to combat stress eating!

Look up streaming work-out videos.

6. Stay in the here and now. Stay in the moment. Worrying about what is going to happen in the days or weeks to come is not going to help. It is just wasted energy.

7. Limit the number of times that you check the news or your newsfeed. Constant checking will only create anxiety.

8. If you are really having a difficult time, contact your insurance company for a therapist that is willing to do Telehealth. Many of us are equipped to do virtual therapy.

Baily suggests checking with your insurance provider because some companies are waving co-pays for tele-health therapy sessions.