Managing anxiety during pandemic

Posted at 11:40 PM, Mar 13, 2020

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — The word pandemic can incite anxiety in people. Not to mention, the economic impact of this virus may cause people to feel uncertain about their future.

CHI Health therapist Karen Williams says no one really knows how to respond to these things and you should cut yourself some slack if you're feeling anxious. She said that's a normal response to an abnormal situation. She continued to say, "recognize that feeling anxious is a part of life, but we don't want it to manage us, we want to be able to manage it."

She recommended going back to the basics and creating a routine you can stick with. "We make sure that we eat meals, make our bed, brush our teeth, things like that, those things seem ordinary but in my opinion are psychological comfort zones for us that our day is on track."

She said those routines are important even if other things change, for example, the kids don't have school.

Williams said humans are hard-wired to need eye contact so even if you're social distancing, try to Facetime or Skype someone to feel connected with them. She recommended that people turn to prayer or exercise--whatever comforts them and avoid vices like alcohol and drugs.

She also said to reach out to people who may feel particularly alone, perhaps an elderly person living along or someone who deals with anxiety. She said those connections serve both people.