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Taking care of your mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic

With times like these, some can experience stress, anxiety and even depression.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — During this COVID-19 pandemic, many families are stuck in their homes, kids are no longer going to their schools and people are self-isolating. Almost everyone is trying to navigate a new normal.

Whatever the situation, it can be easy to get a little stir crazy during this time.

With times like these, some can experience stress, anxiety and even depression.

Therapist Heather Shy, who works at Resilient Grace Counseling in Fayetteville, says right now it's important to focus on what you can control.

“Give others grace, we are all in this together whether we like it or not, there are things we can not control and there are things we can control to get through this,” Shy said.

Recent University of Arkansas graduate Abby Middleton's job has been put on hold due to the coronavirus outbreak. She says focusing on family and filling her day with activities helps her stay positive when life seems uncertain.

“I am trying to do something new every day, that’s kind of like my new thing, you know, have I ever made this, have I ever cooked this, have I ever done this type of exercise,” Middleton said.

She says this is a good practice to help keep a good mindset. She says staying busy and connected can make social distancing not feel so distant.

“To create some structure for your day could be a very healthy thing to do for yourself,” Shy said.

Middleton says even on hard days she tried to get out and enjoy the fresh air and time with her family because she knows right now is only temporary.

"There’s some days it just hard to not have all this anxiety weighing on you but most days I do try to keep myself just as busy as possible because I really do think that is what is going to help us from just sitting here and fixating on the unfortunate situation,” Middleton said.

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