We’re all in the same situation.

We’re all afraid of catching the potentially deadly coronavirus.

We’re afraid of people around us who might spread the disease.

We’re afraid we might already have it or that loved ones may have it.

We’re afraid the virus might be on something we touch.

We feel locked inside, unable to socialize.

We’re afraid of the financial impact. Will it be small – or catastrophic?

We fear this will last for a long, long time.

We’re making ourselves sick.

It’s OK. We all feel vulnerable and overwhelmed. This is especially true for those who have experienced mental health issues in the past or those who have a long-term physical health condition that puts them at greater risk from the coronavirus.

It’s important to acknowledge these feelings and remind each other to look after our physical and mental health. We should also be aware of and avoid increasing habits that may not be helpful in the long term, like smoking and drinking.

Anxiety is the nation’s number one mental illness and it has ratcheted up by several degrees since the coronavirus pandemic swept into America earlier this month.

But we’ve seen local residents combating the stress on Attleboro area sidewalks. Experts say long walks are not only good exercise but a great way to relieve the tension brought on by the virus and its aftereffects.

Here are seven tips from the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to help you get through these tense days:

Keep in touch with your friends and family by phone, email or social media, or contact a helpline for emotional support.

We live in an era when we can have face-to-face conversations with loved ones thousands of miles away. Take advantage of it. It’s important to talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling.

While staying in touch on social media, try not to sensationalize things. If you are sharing content online, use trusted sources. Remember: Your friends are likely to be worried too.

Take breaks from watching, reading or listening to news stories, including social media. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting.

Take care of your body. Long walks are just one remedy. Take deep breaths, stretch or meditate. Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep and avoid alcohol and drugs.

Don’t judge people and avoid jumping to conclusions about who is responsible for the spread of the disease. The coronavirus can affect anyone, regardless of gender, ethnicity or sex.

Try and reassure people you know who may be worried and check in with people who you know are living alone.

Call your health care provider if stress gets in the way of your daily activities for several days in a row.

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