Area counselor speaks on balancing physical and mental health

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STARKVILLE, Miss. (WCBI) – As we all face uncertainty about the novel Coronavirus, there are things we can do to stay calm.

With new social distancing measures like curbside pick up, not being able to go to the gym, and many of us working from home, many of us are facing a new reality.

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COVID-19 is a threat to our physical health, but the forced isolation can also have an effect on our emotional health.

Counselor Wendie Woods said it’s important not to worry about things we cannot control.

“When we are confined the last thing we need is our stress level and the chemicals in our body to increase so that our anxiety is worsened,” said Woods.

One thing you can do instead is reflect.

“Being more intentional with what we want our future to look like thinking of hopes and dreams and not so much paying attention to the negative communications and the negative information that we’re surrounded with,” said Woods.

One way to do that is to track your feelings– positive and negative.

“Since this is unprecedented for all of us it will be great for us to keep a prayer journal, a gratitude journal, maybe even a diary about how things are changing day to day and how you’re feeling emotionally,” said Woods.

Another challenge is finding a balance between staying informed and protecting your emotional health

“News is wonderful, we need reputable new sources, but we must limit our time especially when the news is focused on one thing such as COVID-19,” said Woods.

For people who like to socialize, she said these times call for a little creativity.

“For extroverts, it can be hard to participate daily in this social distancing and it can have a negative impact on our mental health so it’s important to think outside the box,” said Woods.

It helps to keep your mind occupied with activities like reading, a crossword puzzle, calling a friend, and even exercise.

“While we’re protecting the community we still need to protect our own selves from a physical health perspective and a mental health perspective,” said Woods.

If you are feeling down, Woods encourages you to call someone you trust or call an emergency hotline.

 

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