Raleigh mental health expert recommends 'PREP' method to deal with COVID-19 anxiety

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Wednesday, March 18, 2020
Mental health expert says 'PREP' method helps with COVID-19 stress
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Mental health expert says 'PREP' method helps with COVID-19 stress

The COVID-19 global pandemic has the ability to affect the mental health of those who are having difficulty finding ways coping with the flood of facts and misinformation.

"It's quite normal," says mental health expert Marlon Smallwood. "With all the nuances due to this current pandemic, I think it's caused a lot of people to be in the state of flux."

Every state except West Virginia has a positive COVID-19 case.

State governments have already mandated the closure of schools.

Employers are requiring and outfitting the labor staff to work from home.

Several cities have instituted curfews and tightened restrictions on travel.

Smallwood believes in a plan called "PREP" to help people cope.

PREP is an acronym: Prepare, remember, examine and practice.

"PREP is vital because there are a lot of fallacies (floating around) with this coronavirus," Smallwood said. He suggested finding ways to eat healthy foods, exercise and limit one's alcohol intake.

"Nothing's foolproof. But preparation is the key," said Smallwood. "I think once we use those four major constructs...I think a lot of the fears will greatly dissipate."

Smallwood also suggested downloading a meditation phone app or creating a sanctuary in your home to help with recharging and relaxation.