Ask a doc Jason Dunn

A weekly column addressing your most sought-after health questions, answered by Harbin Clinic’s expert healthcare professionals

Question: My anxiety levels are higher than usual lately. What can I do to destress?

Dr. Jason Dunn, PsyD: For many people, the uncertainty surrounding coronavirus is the hardest thing to handle, but there are many things you can do to manage your anxiety.

Stay informed—but don’t obsessively check the news. Limit how often you check for updates. Step away from media if you start feeling overwhelmed. Print media is more likely to be less anxiety-provoking than TV news. All media has bias but avoid opinion pieces that are more likely to stir up emotions.

Focus on the things you can control. When you feel yourself getting caught up in fear of what if, try to shift your focus to things you can control.

Stay connected—even when physically isolated. It’s important to reach out for support when needed. Prioritize staying in touch with friends and family through texting, FaceTime calls, etc.

Social media can be a powerful tool for connecting us to our communities. However, be mindful of how it makes you feel. Step away when necessary.

Take care of yourself. Eat healthy meals, get plenty of sleep, and meditate. Take time for activities you enjoy. Get out in nature. Find ways to exercise. Practice deep breathing. Have fun!

It’s no coincidence that those who focus on others in need, especially during times of crisis, tend to be happier and healthier than those who don’t. Stepping outside ourselves can shift the focus away from our personal problems and help us realize that we are all in this together.

Dr. Jason Dunn is a licensed clinical psychologist with Harbin Clinic. To learn more about Dr. Dunn, visit harbinclinic.com/psychology.

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