Dealing with stress, anxiety during coronavirus outbreak

The coronavirus outbreak is certainly stressful for people, and it's causing adults and children to feel strong emotions.


The coronavirus outbreak is certainly stressful for people, and it's causing adults and children to feel strong emotions.

Experts provide details on what people can do to keep it all under control.

This is tough for all of us. It's hard to escape. Everyone is going to react differently.

Those at high risk are people with preexisting mental health conditions, including substance abuse, but there are some steps you can take to help keep yourself and those around you grounded.

"The coronavirus has changed life as we know it. People are stocking up on supplies, leaving shelves empty. It's in our face everywhere," said Dr. Drew Pate, a psychiatrist at Sinai Hospital.

Pate said the first thing we need to do is be in touch with our thoughts and feelings about the situation and manage and monitor them because anxiety and worry are contagious.

"The more worried and anxious you are feeling, then the more worried and anxious those around you are feeling, the more worried and anxious you are going to get, and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy," said Pate.

Pate said it's important to stick to the facts. For information, go to trusted websites, like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

You should also stick to the basic things you can do, like washing hands, avoiding sick or high-risk people and avoiding big groups.

"The things that we can actually do, the behaviors we can engage in will make us feel better. Also avoiding your social media exposure," said Pate.

Pate said the more you hear it in the background, the more anxious it can make you. As for kids, reassure them that as adults, we are doing what we can to maintain a safe environment.

Thousands of college students are going through an extremely hard time, too, having to abruptly leave school and do virtual study.

As for seniors who are not sure if they will have a graduation ceremony, Pate said think positively.

"I would say we have to think about the positives. The experiences they have had over those years, those are going to carry you forward no matter what," he said.

Pate said those students need to focus on the friendships they're built and find ways to stay in touch, and when it comes to younger kids, use the time to engage in experiences you might not normally have the opportunity to share.

For more information on how to better manage your anxiety, click here.