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Here are tips from a social worker about how to maintain your mental health during the pandemic

As the days and weeks of the coronavirus pandemic carry on, it's easy to be overwhelmed. One social worker and therapist proposes changing your mindset to outlast the pandemic.

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As the days and weeks of the coronavirus pandemic carry on, it's easy to be overwhelmed. One social worker and therapist proposes changing your mindset to outlast the pandemic.

Novant clinical social worker Melissa Welch recommended if you’re feeling anxious or scared, admit those feelings to yourself. Do not try to stuff away feelings or write off emotional experiences.

Welch said remember that our emotions can come and go in waves. What may feel like your world is ending may resolve itself in a few hours, days or weeks, if given the time and space to work itself out.

Welch also asked people to practice gratitude. If you’re stuck inside your apartment or house due to a stay-at-home order and you’re feeling frustrated or bored, she said be grateful for your home, job, extra time with family or roommates and the basic gift of waking up to another day.

If you’re looking to take practical steps to improve your mental health, Welch also suggested exercising regularly, healthy eating and drinking in moderation and watching the amount of screen time you consume each day.

She said over-consuming anything — food, Netflix or coronavirus coverage — is not wise for anyone’s mental or physical health.

Above all, Welch said people need to remember they are not alone.

“There’s a difference between social distancing and social isolation," Welch said. "So, yes, we are home and not having those tangible connections each day, but we still have a telephone.”

If video calling friends and family is not enough for you to muster through the coronavirus and stay-at-home orders, Welch recommended signing up for a virtual counseling or therapy session. She said it is not a sign of weakness, but rather a sign of strength.

To learn more about Novant’s virtual offerings, click here.