What about my mental health during the coronavirus outbreak? De Pere psychologist explains

Coronavirus

(WFRV) – While much of the focus surrounding coronavirus has been on physical health, many are wondering – what about my mental health? In a time when many are being asked to stay home or even quarantine, WFRV Local 5 spoke with Dr. Tiffany Born of the Bellin Health Psychiatric Center in De Pere.

“There’s a lot going on,” Dr. Born tells Local 5, “[Coronavirus] is all that we can talk about, all that we hear about, and it’s on the minds of a lot of people. It’s completely normal to have varying reactions to it. There’s a lot of anger for the disruption in plans, fear of the unknown and uncertainty that’s surrounding us, sadness and depression from isolation and being away from those that we love. It’s a scary time.”

Dr. Born says that while keeping our distance from one another can be difficult, it’s important to maintain our social connections, even if we can’t meet face to face.

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“Coming up with a time of the day that you’re going to reach out to your loved ones, having phone calls, FaceTime calls, trying to keep your structure of the day as much as possible.”

Dr. Born also recommends a few tips to stick with your routine:

  • Wake up at your usual time, even if you aren’t leaving home
  • Take a shower, get dressed, and take care of hygiene tasks
  • Try to have meals at the same time that you would usually have them
  • Eat healthy and exercise

Parents and guardians should talk to their children about the coronavirus outbreak, according to Dr. Born.

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“I think sometimes as adults, we fear that if we bring it up, if we talk about something scary, our kids will get scared,” she tells WFRV Local 5. “Really, we need to be there and show we can have an open and honest conversation so they feel that they can come to you with questions.”

Dr. Born says that, as your child gets older, they may be more exposed to information. She recommends asking your child what they are hearing about the coronavirus outbreak and correcting any of the misinformation they may know.

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Dr. Born adds that keeping not only yourself but your children on a routine can help them be more at ease during this time of uncertainty.

“Having a routine is very important for kids and adults. It actually makes us feel more comfortable if we know what to expect,” says Dr. Born. She goes on to say that this can include set times for waking up and going to bed, when to do schoolwork, meals, and playtimes.

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