Dr. Sherry Simon, a clinical psychologist in Little Rock and parishioner of Christ the King Church, shared tips to help combat general anxiety and depression:
• Acknowledge it exists: Simon said people should understand it’s “normal to feel stressed during this time” and repressing emotions can lead to health issues and other long-term problems.
• Develop a routine: setting a bedtime or waking up at the same time daily or eating lunch at a certain time. “It is so easy just to sort of lapse into a non-schedule,” Simon said. “I’ve been staying up later, watching TV and doing different things around the house and I lose track of time during those long days.” Exercising, particularly outside, can also be helpful.
• Take a break from the news: Simon said some people are “following every day how many people have died or how many people have gotten it (COVID-19). Whether we’re talking about the pandemic or politics, it’s important to stay informed, but watch the news for 30 minutes, then get away from it.”
• Don’t miss out on what you love: “If you love concerts, make sure you have music on every day, turn on the radio. You have to get adventurous or explore Zoom where people are streaming concerts,” Simon said. It’s also a good time to pick up a new hobby or activity you’ve never thought about before.
• Listen to the experts: knowing that you are doing the right things that are in your control, like wearing a mask and listening to infectious disease experts, can give a person perspective.
• Pray: “Having a regular prayer time every day, following the Liturgy of the Hours can be something very beautiful to put into your life,” Simon said.
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