Local doctor offers tips on managing coronavirus-induced anxiety

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SAN DIEGO — The fear surrounding the coronavirus is palpable, from the run on toilet paper to the “stay at home” orders to the new infection rates.

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed—and if you are, you’re not alone.

In fact, it’s normal to feel overwhelmed in this kind of situation, according to Dr. Maribel Bradberry.

“A lot of times people end up feeling hot or flushed, or they end up having tension in their chest. Some people get stomachaches,” Bradberry said.

These symptoms are often connected with stress. According to Bradberry, there are a few key ways individuals can manage these symptoms when anxiety or stress is high.

Make sure you’re getting enough sleep

“So many of us start to stress, and that’s one of the first thing that goes,” she said. Bradberry recommends individuals sleep away from their phones during times of stress, as the impulse to look at the screen can ruin a night’s sleep.

Get some real exercise

“It’s so important, what exercise does to our system of regulating and actually grounding us,”Bradberry said.

Reach out to your community — even though technology

“Make sure you have your connections,” Bradberry said.

And when the going gets tough…

Bradberry said it’s best to stop thinking about all of life’s stressors and focus on taking the next breath during especially overwhelming moments.

“We’re talking about deep belly breaths, because you can breathe really shallow,” Bradberry said. “When you put your hands on your belly, if you can feel your breath coming in, that’s the sort of breathing you want to be doing.”

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