Steps to help maintain mental health amid COVID-19 scare

OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) -- There’s no way around it, coronavirus is bringing a lot of stress into people’s lives, but there some simple steps to take that can help ease the tension, according to the experts.

“This is heavy stuff,” said Dr. Kenneth Zoucha, Addiction Division Director Department of Psychiatry at UNMC. “We’re talking about so many people getting sick and so many people dying, noting nobody’s immune to the stress caused by the Coronavirus outbreak

“A catastrophic event like the one we’re experiencing right now can definitely weigh on people,” said Dr. Zoucha. “It’s weighing on everyone in the world right now who knows what’s going.”

There are steps people can take to help stay mentally healthy, points out Dr. Zoucha, stressing the importance of keeping as much of your routine as possible.

“This is a mindful effort that I think we all have to make and it’s doable,” said the doctor. He advises avoiding sugary, fatty foods, getting seven to nine hours of sleep per night and engaging in enjoyable activities, such as walking, reading, listening to music. Dr. Zoucha also highly recommends picking up the phone and reaching out online to stay connected.

“You know I can’t stress enough the support we can gain from family and friends,” said the doctor. “So making sure that we’re taking that time and that effort.”