Health experts recommend ways to reduce stress amid pandemic pan - FOX34 Lubbock

Health experts recommend ways to reduce stress amid pandemic panic

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"It's rapidly changing, we're seeing many events cancelled, things postponed, school systems having to make decisions, so it can very quickly become a stressful situation," Director of Health and Wellness at South Plains College DeEtte Edens said.  

These are unprecedented times.

Panic over COVID-19 has infected the nation, faster than the virus itself.  But it is important to remember the facts over fear.

"Elevated level of stress, yes, that can affect your immune system. Make sure you're following factual information. It can become very overwhelming," Edens said.

Psychology Professor at LCU Andy Young says it is normal to be scared, but you can control how it affects you.

"So let's think about other things instead. Like, what can I do today, how can I live my life normally, what are the things that bring me peace? What are the things that bring me joy? Even though I may have these worries that I might need to prepare for in some ways, can I still think about what is good in my life?"

He says the best thing to do is to find normalcy where you can. 

But with schools and businesses closing, self-quarantines, and "social distancing" recommendations that can be difficult. Young says stay in touch with friends and family whenever possible.

"Social support is always helpful if people are feeling isolated. So if you know a loved one is vulnerable, and anxious, to provide that social support, to call, to write, to email," Young explained.

Above all else, stay informed, but take time for yourself. 

"We saw after 9-11 a lot of people were suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms from watching all the coverage on TV for days at a time. I think we have a same kind of dynamic here, that a little information is helpful, but obsessing about it, just create anxiety," Young said.

"The bottom line is, step back, take a deep breath. Realize, you know, what's in your community, follow your local leaders, and understand that they're doing their best to make the correct decisions for your school system, for your businesses and for your area," Edens said.

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