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Simple ways to cope during a pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic can take a toll on many people's mental health.
The coronavirus pandemic can take a toll on many people's mental health.(WRDW)
Published: Sep. 14, 2020 at 4:23 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Now six months into the coronavirus pandemic, getting back to life after summer looks different than usual. For some, it’s easy to adapt. For others, it can be more daunting and can take a toll on their mental health.

Brandy Stratman, senior manager at Providence Alaska’s Adolescent Residential Treatment Program, says that structure is an easy way those who are feeling stressed out can start to feel a bit of normalcy or even joy again. Going for a walk, doing a favorite hobby or even eating a favorite meal can all be positive coping mechanisms.

“Because our external environment is so stressful right now and so unpredictable, our power really lies in finding things we can predict and can control,” Stratman said.

Stratman recommends parents who are working or homeschooling their children, or perhaps both, check-in with their stress levels and ensure they are taking care of themselves to better control the home environment if children begin to show stress through their actions.

As winter approaches, the cold and dark months can have negative effects on many Alaskans. The amount of time spent in front of screens, watching movies or playing video games, can be a good distraction, says Stratman, but often can deplete our energy.

If getting outside isn’t possible, Stratman recommends mindful breathing, listening to nature, stretching, being near natural light often, staying hydrated and eating healthy as small actions that can have long-term, positive effects on our bodies.

For more resources, visit Providence’s blog for healthy living.

Copyright 2020 KTUU. All rights reserved.

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