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Experts explain how to manage stress in the middle of a pandemic

A local psychiatrist offers tips to keep our mental health in check during this stressful time.

TOLEDO, Ohio — The major disruption to our lives caused by the coronavirus pandemic can take a toll on our mental health.

U.T.M.C. Psychiatrist, Dr. Victoria Kelly, says to think "CALMS" when dealing with stress.


C: Take CARE of yourself. That means sleep, eat well and exercise. 

A: AVOID consuming news that could cause you to feel anxious. Pick a source you trust and check in for updates at a specific time. 

L: Have a LIST of things to do daily to keep a routine.

M: MAINTAIN a work-life balance..often in crisis, we work too much. 

S: SOCIAL connectedness. 

"Check in. We have Facetime and Skype. All of these different methods. So do check in with your loved ones, especially the elderly who are even more limited in a lot of their activities," Kelly said.


You can get help if you need it the following ways:

  • Schedule a telehealth appointment.
  • Crisis text line: TALK to 741741
  • Disaster distress helpline: 800-985-5990
  • Suicide prevention hotline: 800-273-8255

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Facts not fear: Putting COVID-19 into context

WTOL 11’s coverage of the coronavirus is rooted in Facts, not Fear. Visit wtol.com/section/coronavirus for comprehensive coverage, find out what you need to know about northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan specifically, learn more about the symptoms, and keep tabs on the cases around the world here. Have a question? Text it to us at 419-248-1100.

Protect yourself from coronavirus

• Cover: Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
• Dispose: Throw used tissues in a lined can.
• Wash hands: Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; going to the bathroom; and before eating or preparing food.
• Hand sanitizer: If soap and water are not readily available, use and alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol, covering all surfaces of your hands and rubbing them together until they feel dry.
• Avoid touching: Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.