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Kayla Jackson shares tips for coping with anxiety during pandemic

For the person who walks in and says, “I’m feeling anxious,” what kind of tools and instructions do you share with them?

Some of the things you can do without even contacting anyone is just taking some slow, deep breaths. I know a lot of times people think, “Oh, I’m just breathing in and out,” but really taking the time to be mindful of your body and how you’re feeling is important. Another thing that I also tell people to do is to be mindful. Try to be more mindful of not only your mental and your emotional [state] but even your physical body. … Even just sitting there, closing your eyes and taking a minute to just slowly count to 10. Give yourself time to really be able to focus on your energy and how you’re feeling.

When you think about home dynamics and the fact that we’re now in the house 24 hours a day, what can families do to not feel claustrophobic?

I don’t think we always realize everyone who’s currently quarantined together may not have a three-bedroom house or may not have a two-story home where they can separate. Even something as simple as finding a spot in your home or your apartment can be helpful.  Another thing I highly encourage people to do is continue with their routine. Still wake up in the morning, brush your teeth and comb your hair. I want people to get into the mindset of, even while they’re in quarantine, still dressing and behaving as if they’re having a social life.

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