Managing Anxiety during Pandemic


BERESFORD, S.D. (KELO)- COVID-19 can pose challenges even if you’re not exposed to the disease. KELOLAND’s Grant Sweeter sat down with a licensed psychologist to talk about stress and anxiety amid this pandemic.

One possible reaction to COVID-19 is fear, which can cause stress and anxiety.

“It doesn’t do any good at all to think about something 15 times. The purpose of thinking is to do something, so people are having a false sense of security, thinking that if they buy two months of paper towels that they’ll have some sense of security, but they need to do the basic things,” Psychologist Susan Eleeson said.

Elleson says to focus on what’s needed.

“Looking at every action of yours to figure out is this a want or a need. Do I want to do this or do I need to do it?” Eleeson said.

Anxiety surrounding the novel coronavirus might impact more people than just adults, as children can feed off their parents’ reactions. Eleeson says that parents need to inform their children, especially with school being cancelled.

“You get task-focused versus emotion-focused and you don’t want to make your kids so afraid. They’re going to be up at night, they’re going to be sick, they’re going to be more angry, they might be more clingy. You need to teach them that it is going to be okay, but we need to be smart,” Eleeson said.

Social distancing doesn’t mean being idle. Eleeson says that staying occupied is the way to help fight anxiety.

“There is a large group of people that has anxiety issues, so this is even harder for them. So really, the key is to stay busy, do what you can, cook, clean, be in contact with your family members, Skype, play board games. There is no point in going over and over things,” Eleeson said.

Eleeson says the use of cell phones is important at a time like this, because you can keep in touch while practicing social distancing.

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