Managing Anxiety: Breathing Exercise Amid COVID-19 Crisis | UC San Diego Health

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In the face of uncertainty, managing anxiety and stress while also staying prepared and informed can be difficult. So what can you be doing to protect your mental health as the COVID-19 outbreak unfolds?

In this video, Laura Sudano, PhD, UC San Diego Health psychologist, guides you through a short breathing exercise to help you get centered.

Here are some other recommendations from the experts.

Put down the smart phone. Take breaks from social media and the news. Give your mind a chance to disconnect. Consider setting up specific times or time limits on how long you spend checking the news each day, so you can stay informed without getting overwhelmed.

Take care of yourself. Engage in healthy habits as much as possible. Eat well balanced meals, get some exercise, get plenty of sleep, and avoid bad habits, like too much alcohol.

Enjoy your hobbies. Take the time to engage in relaxing activities, like reading a book, cooking a nice meal, or doing something creative like painting or knitting.

Check in with your friends and family. Social distancing doesn’t mean social isolation! Connect with the people you care about to share your concerns and feelings and see how you can help support them.

Take a deep breath to avoid burnout. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, stop and take a deep breath. Take a step back and give yourself space to process your feelings. Consider doing some stretches or yoga or engaging in a short mindfulness exercise to help keep you grounded.

If your stress is interfering with your daily life, contact your health care provider to ask about additional care and resources. One place you can visit: UC San Diego Health/Psychiatry and Behavioral Health at https://health.ucsd.edu/specialties/psych/Pages/default.aspx

The Center For Mindfulness, The Sanford Institute, and the Compassion Institute at UC San Diego Health are working together to provide daily resources to support mindfulness and compassion. Find their schedule and resources here: https://medschool.ucsd.edu/som/fmph/research/mindfulness/Pages/Mindfulness-and-Compassion-Resources.aspx

For the latest information for UC San Diego Health patients and visitors, please visit https://health.ucsd.edu/patients/Pages/2019-coronavirus.aspx

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