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Dealing with COVID-19 stress

Posted at 6:32 AM, Apr 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-03 07:32:14-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, TEXAS — COVID-19 has a lot of people experiencing more stress than usual. The spread of the disease has led to increased anxiety throughout the county.

“One of the first signs is listening to those around you or listening to yourself. If you find yourself with changing moods, changing appetite, inability to sleep, you should be concerned that perhaps you are becoming overwhelmed.

These are times when your usual coping skills might not be enough, and that is when you should go ask for help,” said Bayview Behavioral Hospital Medical Director Dr. John Lusins.

Bayview Behavioral Hospital Medical Director Dr. John Lusinssaid not only is this pandemic affecting the average American, it is also hitting our frontline helpers even more.

“There’s studies coming out from Europe and China that show high increase rates in mental health illness in healthcare workers as a result of the coronavirus epidemic and pandemic. Seeing unprecedented levels of depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, thoughts of hopelessness. One of the things is before you had a sanctuary to go to, either your church or home, and now, pretty much it is your car on the ride home. We are having difficulty being close to our loved ones, particularly if you are a healthcare worker because you don’t want to infect everyone,” said Lusins.

The coronavirus pandemic is even changing his industry, with many patients or doctors requesting to see each other through FaceTime or via other video conferencing means.

“Services are still available; you don’t have to come into the office. We just want to make sure everybody is safe. There are still people to see, and I know therapists locally also have gone to both telecommunications to keep everybody safe,” said Lusins.

Things you can do to support yourself:

  • Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting.
  • Take care of your body. Take deep breaths, stretch, or meditate.
  • Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep, and avoid alcohol and drugs.
  • Make time to unwind.
  • Try to do some other activities you enjoy.
  • Connect with others.
  • Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling.