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Taking care of your mind during social distancing

Mental health experts say while it is important to stay informed during a pandemic, it is okay to tune out and take care of yourself.

TEXAS, USA — COVID-19 seems to be consuming everyone’s lives right now. 

It's consuming people’s thoughts, too-so much so it can be unhealthy.

Mental health experts say while it is important to stay informed during a pandemic, it is okay to tune out and take care of yourself.

“One of the best things we can do is take a break, step away from the TV, step away from watching nonstop news, get outside, go for a walk, plant your garden, do yoga,” said Cheryl Willoughbly, Counselor at Affinity Counseling. 

Willoughby says it is okay to not feel okay right now.

“Any crisis comes with elevated symptoms of anxiety or suicide," Willoughby said. "One of the most difficult parts of this is it’s making us isolate from the people who support us.”

From canceled weddings to postponed graduations-Willoughby says people are experiencing what she calls micro losses.

“There are lots of micro losses that we’re going to have right now and that we’re gonna have to grieve,” Willoughby said.

Human connections are one of the most important elements to make us feel comforted. 

“Having that conversation with a friend, or talking to a counselor, leaning into your husband and cuddling and getting that good squeeze and eye contact," Willoughby said. "That will let you know you're safe.”

So how can you keep peace of mind? Well it might be as easy as Facetime!

Use social apps and video calls to stay connected with family and friends. Be open about how you are feeling.

“Our bodies require human contact and at this time we’re not allowed to get a lot of human contact," Willoughby said. "The more you can connect and be present electronically the better."

Willoughby wants to remind people to not just talk about the virus when you are socializing. 

"Talk about the good things, there's a lot of good things happening right now too,” Willoughby said. 

While it may be uncertain times, Willoughby says it is the perfect time to reconnect with what and who really matters.

For more information on mental health and coping with COVID-19 click here. 

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