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TIPS: First Coast medical professional gives tips to calm anxiety amid coronavirus reports

“I think planning is way more important than letting yourself get too bogged down in the worry of it,” nurse practitioner Amy Howell said.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Continued talk about the coronavirus also known as COVID-19 and where it has been found can be a stressor for some. However, medical professionals say there are healthy ways to handle that anxiety. 

The On Your Side team is committed to the facts and not fear, so we turned to the experts to help you find ways to cope with anxiety over the coronavirus. The main thing to do is to pay attention to the facts and ensure you are taking care of your mind and body.

“I think planning is way more important than letting yourself get too bogged down in the worry of it,” nurse practitioner Amy Howell with the University of North Florida’s Student Health Services said.

Pandemic panic isn’t new, she explained. The more you talk about a topic, particularly one tied to health, the more your mind can begin to race. Howell said it’s important to keep things in context.

And that's exactly what Rich Gibson, a customer at an Arlington hardware store said.

“A concerned citizen absolutely, now am I going to let it go to my head and be real concerned? Not yet,” Gibson said.

There are a few cases of coronavirus in Florida and over 100 in the United States, but the world’s top medical experts have continued to say if you’re taking care of yourself, the risks of contracting the virus are much lower.

Washing your hands, eating healthy, exercising and getting enough sleep are crucial points Howell said. She added emotional and mental health is just as important.

“Too much news might be a bad thing, but I think in general the news is doing all they can to help us disseminate information from sources like the health department, CDC and [the] world health organization,” Howell said.

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