For people who struggle with anxiety or depression, a crisis will undoubtedly exacerbate it. And for many people, the coronavirus pandemic is the largest crisis they’ve seen in their lifetime.

So how does someone manage their anxiety or depression during this times.  Jhanille Brooks is the director of the Jamaica Mental Health Network, and she has six tips to help you remain calm while we weather this coronavirus pandemic.

Jhanille Brooks, director of the Jamaica Mental Health Network

Get news from reputable sources

If you need to block your mom, or aunts from your WhatsApp, then go ahead, do it for your mental health.

“At this moment there is a lot of misinformation floating around which can increase our feelings of anxiety. Get facts and data that have been published by sources such as the World Health Organization and the Ministry of Health and Wellness. At various times throughout the day unplug from news programs and social media; information overload is real and managing how much you take in is crucial to managing your emotions at this time,” she said.

Stay connected with love ones

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Thank God for facetime! So even though you might be away from family and friends, you can still keep in touch with them.

“While practicing social distancing remain connected with your loved ones- we all need social connections, especially in challenging times. Maybe now is the time to talk more to the actual people who live in your house. Plan a family games night, sit down for meals together and have bonding time. Stay connected with friends and family by using various messenger services, social media, and video calls,” she said.

Take care of yourself

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Even if you’re working from home, you still have a little more time to take care of you, so do that!

“Continue to practise self-care: exercise, eating right, reading, meditation You may have to find new and creative ways to engage in some of your regular self-care activities. ⁣⁣For example, if you are accustomed to going to the gym now is a perfect time to switch up your exercise routine by doing more walking or calisthenics. If spa treatments are your thing now is the time to do some DIY facials and masks,” she said.

Find a hobby

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Come out of quarantine being an expert at whatever new hobby you decide to take on. And Brooks is providing you with some options.

“Find a hobby or learn a new skill- knit, paint, try new recipes ⁣⁣ – we now have more free time to explore various activities. Pour some mental energy into learning something new,” she said.

Stick to your routine

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Yes, that’s right. This will help you maintain some degree of normalcy.

“Stick to your regular routine as much as possible. Limit total upheaval where you can – If you are now working/studying remotely, stick to your schedule as much as possible,”

Reach out for help and support

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If it becomes too much for you BUZZ fam, then don’t be afraid to seek help.

“Reach out for help and support – lean into your social support system when you are experiencing feelings of anxiety or sadness. If needed, seek professional help – many Psychologists and Counsellors are now offering services online,” Brooks advises

“This period seems to be unpredictable (to say the least), now is the time to be more mindful of your surroundings, your thoughts and feelings, show love and gratitude, It’s also an opportunity to practice being more accepting of what is in our realm of control and what isn’t,” she added

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