Coping with coronavirus: advice from an anxiety expert

Anxiety experts say what you're likely feeling about the outbreak is perfectly normal

A lot of people are having a hard time dealing with the psychological impacts of the coronavirus outbreak and restrictions put in place by the state and federal government to stop the spread.

Every day, we’re getting new information about the virus and the impact on our daily lives.

It’s natural to worry, but learning some coping mechanisms can help. Channel 11′s Angie Moreschi talked with an anxiety expert.

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Nervous, sadness, fear and frustration -- Allegheny Health Network anxiety expert Dr. Alicia Kaplan said what you’re feeling is normal.

“With uncertainty, we feel like we don’t have any control, so what we need to do is focus on what we do have control on,” Kaplan said.

She said try to limit how much time you spend focusing on the crisis, and that means social media and screen time.

“We want to be educated. We don’t want to avoid that, but we want to get the facts and cope with it the best we can, we’re all in this together," Kaplan said.

Have questions about the spread of the coronavirus? We have an entire section dedicated to coverage of the outbreak. CLICK HERE for more.

And even though we’re practicing social distancing, it’s still very important to stay connected.

“Talking with that trusted friend and having that dialogue can be very powerful to get us more centered," Kaplan said.

Writing your thoughts down in a journal can help too.

Relaxing your body plays a big part in relaxing your mind, so getting outside to get some fresh air, enjoy nature and get some exercise are good ways to help manage the stress.

Be sure to keep a routine amidst the chaos and try to stay productive.

And one more thing: we often feel better when we help others. So if you’re feeling well, pick up groceries for an elderly neighbor or run an errand for them.

if you have little ones,maybe make cards for residents at a nearby nursing home.

Doing a good deed can go a long way in helping all of us feel better.

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