CLOSINGS: View Closings

How to cope with coronavirus stress

Mental health professionals say acknowledging the stress is the first step in coping with the pandemic.

Posted: Mar 21, 2020 11:07 PM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) The uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus is creating overwhelming levels of stress in our society, especially for those who deal with stress and anxiety on a daily basis. 

From possible unemployment and concerns over contracting the virus, people have a lot on their plate right now. 

Mental health professionals say acknowledging the stress is the first step in coping with the pandemic. 

“I would say that it’s okay for us to feel that things are getting overwhelming or stressed. It’s important for us to allow ourselves to be vulnerable and human sometimes instead of fight against it,” said Andrew Fisher, counselor. 

And when things are getting heavy, counselors suggest those feeling anxious about social distancing should do their best to imitate everyday routines, like going for a walk or reading a new book.

“Obviously we can’t do a lot of things that we’re prone to do when we feel really worked up or pent up, but if you can find some ways to create that culture of normalcy, that goes a long way,” said Fisher. 

Psychologists say it's important for parents to remember kids are being affected by the crisis too. 

“The less together we have it, the more anxious our kids are gonna be.The more that we’re ignoring them and looking at our devices and watching the news and anxious and on edge, it’s going to be twice as difficult for them as it is for us,” said Dr. Gregory Nawalanic,
University of Kansas Health system. 

Psychologists say the urge to stay informed all day long isn't good for our mental health.

Mental health professionals say simply putting down your phone and limiting your knowledge consumption will help reduce your anxiety.  

“The temptation is to gobble up every single nugget of information you can find in any media source and the reality is you might be better served by just tuning into the evening broadcast which will give you a nice package of all the information from the day rather than taking it piecemeal throughout the course of the day,” said Nawalanic. 

Andrew Fisher is still holding in-person sessions and making sure to stay six feet apart from his clients, but says most of his therapy sessions have gone digital. 

St. Joseph
Mostly Cloudy
74° wxIcon
Hi: 95° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 74°
70° wxIcon
Hi: 93° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 70°
74° wxIcon
Hi: 93° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 74°
68° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 68°
Mostly Cloudy
73° wxIcon
Hi: 93° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 73°
We started off the weekend today with continued muggy and hot conditions with temperatures in the 90s. There are thunderstorms to the west headed towards us. Some of the area may see a slight chance for rain overnight. Tomorrow looks to be another day in the mid 90s with a slight chance for thunderstorms in the afternoon. There is a cold front coming our way giving us some much cooler temperatures to start off the work week. Highs will be back down in the upper 70s and lower 80s to start off next week.
KQTV Radar
KQTV Temperatures
KQTV Alerts

Best of St. Joe


Community Events