Feeling anxious about coronavirus? You aren’t alone

Fear and anxiety can have a major impact on how we think and react.
Updated: Mar. 16, 2020 at 7:47 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - The past few days have made clear how serious the escalating coronavirus pandemic is. It may have you feeling on edge. It's all over social media, television, a topic of discussion just about everywhere.

Fear and anxiety can have a major impact on how we think and react. The coronavius is forcing so many of us to change our daily routines, even the way we do our jobs.

Lisa Prewitt is a behavioral health outreach coordinator for UofL Health Peace Hospital. She said feeling anxiety right now because of the coronavirus is normal.

“The death rate has increased more than the death rate for the flu, so people are fearful,” she said. “Yeah, so it’s very normal. It’s very normal to experience anxiety.”

Prewitt suggested establishing a routine if you are stuck at home right now. It can also be beneficial for kids if they are being home-schooled.

“Routines make us feel safe,” Prewitt said.

If what you’re seeing on social media or TV is overwhelming, Prewitt said the solution is easy -- turn it off. If you feel a negative reaction coming on, Prewitt recommended taking a few seconds for yourself.

“Take a deep breath in for three seconds, out for three seconds,” Prewitt said. “You may need to do this for one to two minutes. It will trigger your body’s natural common response, and will help you think more clearly at that time.”

A great way to release some of that anxiety is exercise. Reach out to family, friends and neighbors who may need help. If you are experiencing a mental health crisis, get help immediately.

For more information on managing anxiety and stress with the cornavirus click here.

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