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Tips on managing anxiety as US adjusts to new normal

Posted at 2:49 PM, May 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-07 10:50:14-04

There's a lot of positivity but also a new wave of anxiety that comes with reopening the country.

Dr. Melissa Bailey, a psychologist at Bailey Psychology Group, says the first round of mental health impact was due in large part to people being overwhelmed by all the pandemic changes, like remote schooling, working from home and general fears of contracting the novel coronavirus.

“Unfortunately, I’ve had to hospitalize a couple of kids and then had some people who have been suicidal over it just because they are so overwhelmed,” said Dr. Melissa Bailey, a psychologist at Bailey Psychology Group. “We've definitely seen people coming out of the woodwork who I haven't seen in therapy for a while suddenly want to get back.”

She says clients are coming in to vent, just to get out of the house and talk to someone besides family. Another thing that helps – showing thanks for those on the frontlines.

“Gratitude can really help with our own depression and self-esteem if we can say, ‘hey I’m really grateful that you're here wiping down the carts,’” said Bailey.

When you're trying to return to a more normal lifestyle, she suggests planning your outings, like where you're going to eat, calling ahead, asking questions and making reservations.

Go back to basic common sense when going into more public places. Keep in mind the hand washing, not touching your face, social distancing and mask wearing.

For those fearful, she says getting outside is good for you. And be mindful of why you're fearful.

“What I’m finding too is people are reading way too much into various things because they have a lot of time to think about things and focus on things,” said Bailey. “You know one comment from someone all of a sudden causes this flurry of anxiety.”

Also, an important fact to remember – for most people, the coronavirus still only causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough, that clears up in two to three weeks.

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