Healthy Living: It's OK to be anxious about things reopening


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We are finally reaching a point where we are seeing counties reopen. We are able to get back to some of the activities we enjoy. Some people may feel the changes are coming too late, while others think it is too soon.

Dr. Jim Polo is the Behavioral Health Medical Director with Regence, and he says change creates stress, and because this kind of change is complex as we go through phased recommendations, there is still a lot of uncertainty.

“The pandemic isn’t over. There’s still the risk that you can get infected and if you do get infected we don’t know if that gives you immunity and we still don’t quite have a vaccine," he says.

So what are some of the things you can do to handle uncertainty?

Dr. Polo says stay up to date on the recommendations and remember that the recommendations in your city or county may not be the same for somebody else.

Next, don’t try to make sense of the recommendations. Dr. Polo says you may not like them, but follow them. the recommendations were made with your health in mind.

Next, set reasonable expectations.

“Remember that there are going to be slow changes with phased recommendations over time. It will be a while before restaurants are fully operating at full capacity and you may not be enjoying the movies like you used to before. It might be some time before we can go to live football games or baseball games or basketball games, so set realistic expectations that there are still gonna be some things that you won’t be able to enjoy.”

Finally, Dr. Polo says it’s OK to grieve that you have lost some of your freedom. It is okay to recognize that you’re disappointed and that you are going to be adjusting to a new reality.

“You can take advantage of some things that will help you adjust into that new normal," he says.

Dr. Polo says routine is really important, as a routine can help create structure. Next, focus on the things you can control. You can also setup time to connect with people you can fully engage with like family and friends. Maybe you fill some of your time by taking up a new hobby.

Finally, Dr. Polo says there are the standards they recommend for good health, and that is to eat well, exercise and get adequate sleep.


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