Anxious, fatigued about COVID-19? Expert offers advice

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Friday, October 23, 2020
Solving anxiety and fatigue-related problems related to COVID-19
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Mental health experts say focus on what you can control, not what you've lost.

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- Focus on what you can control. Not what you've lost.

That is the advice from some mental health experts on how to deal with the continued anxiety associated with COVID-19.

Many older, more vulnerable people reached out to ABC11 this week to express their concerns about people not following guidelines as the pandemic continues to grip the state.

"For the older generation, it is a legitimate fear," said Dr. Mehul Mankad, chief medical officer at Alliance Health. "If they're concerned about going out, concerned about younger generations not wearing a mask or not distancing or not following rules that would keep everyone safe, that's a legitimate concern."

Dr. Mankad said it is crucial for that younger generation to think about people other than themselves.

He also recommends everyone not get dragged into what he calls "doomscrolling."

"You find one click-bait article, you read it, and it links you to another negative article and then another one and all of a sudden you've spent a half hour or hour or more doing that, that's not good for you," he said.

He recommends going to find sunlight, exercising, getting good sleep and engaging in non-passive activities. He said watching TV is fine but find other ways to be creative.

As the holidays approach, Mankad suggested using the digital tools available to connect.

"One of the big differences is that we can connect through these digital media and so if you can't have all the people you want over to your house for that special event, there are ways to bring them together that can still be impactful and meaningful," he said.

Joseph Feathersone has had his share of stress since March.

His wife Robin contracted COVID-19 and her son did, too.

They want to see his parents who live in Garner and hers in Winston-Salem but struggle with how to best do it.

"It's not just get in the car and go, it's not just get in the plane and go, I have to make sure I'm prepping for all the things," he said. "Taking temperatures, making sure I haven't had a chronic cough or sneeze or sniffles. Knowing that we're in this thing together, I think, is the biggest thing. Stress is going to come, it's going to go."