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How to manage your mental health during coronavirus pandemic

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Posted at 4:44 PM, May 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-11 16:54:53-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Anxiety, fear, and stress are real emotions many of you are feeling because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Licensed psychologist and 211 Helpline representative Dr. Rachel Needle spoke to WPTV on Monday and shared some advice about how families can cope with the stressors caused by COVID-19.

Dr. Needle said be easy on your expectations and reach out for help if the anxiety or stress become overwhelming.

"It’s been incredibly challenging having their children at home. Whether or not they’re still trying to work, both are tough," said Dr. Needle. "I tell people just have some compassion for themselves. Cut yourself some slack. So things maybe you wanted to see yourself achieve, I want to get x, y, z done today or I don’t want to raise my voice at all. Sometimes these things happen. Don’t beat yourself up about them."

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Dr. Needle said she's seen an increase in the number of people reaching out for help because of the pandemic.

When it comes to the decision to go to restaurants, stores, or back to work, Dr. Needle said it’s important to know that not everyone will be on the same page about reopening. That's why she suggests communicating with the people around you and make a plan based on your comfort levels.

"Just be open to having a conversation where you’re listening, where you’re open, where you’re compassionate and you can hear the other person’s viewpoint," said Dr. Needle. "If somebody in your household is going back to work and you’re not comfortable with it, come up with a plan. What’s that going to look like when they go back to work? How can they go back, but also respect how you’re feeling and keep you safe?"

For more information about the 211 Helpline, click here.