By Lisa Petrillo

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – It’s safe to say that most of us right now are experiencing some level of stress and anxiety during the coronavirus crisis, some of us more than others.

But everyone can use a pause button, so we’ve gathered some insight on ways to destress.

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Patricia San Pedro is a cancer survivor and author who has a lot on her mind and was kind enough to share it with us.

“When I’m stressing, I’m thinking about my 90-year-old father who is in an assisted living facility and the last time I spoke to him with a video chat he was very disoriented. I stress about the fact that I’m alone, I live alone, and it’s just very isolating,” San Pedro stated.

San Pedro burns sage and uses scented candles, creating a serene home sanctuary while she meditates, both inside and outdoors. She found help with sleep from a free app called Insight Timer.

“I love one of the meditations they have, it is guided, 17 minutes long, and it just puts me to sleep. I tend to be an insomniac and within 10-15 minutes I am out,” she explained.

Deep Sleep and Slumber are just a few of the many apps geared toward improving and tracking your sleep. Meditation apps are seeing a huge increase in downloads and usage during this pandemic. One of the most popular is appropriately titled Calm. Calm provides audio content to strengthen mental fitness, tackle stress, anxiety, insomnia, and depression. ‘The Daily Calm,’ a ten-minute meditation, has a new theme each day.

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Tamera Levitt is the head instructor of mindfulness at Calm. She recently shared on Instagram how a trip to the grocery store made her feel anxious and what she did about it, using retention breathing exercises called Kumbhuka.

Another stress reducer is exercise. Depending on where you live, you can follow free indoor classes on social media or get out and walk if it is safe near you. Staying connected, said psychiatrist Eugenio Rothe, MD, is a necessity. He is a professor of psychiatry at Florida International University and triple board certified.

“This is a very important time to reconnect with people who are emotionally important to us. Human connections are at the essence of who we are as human beings,” Rothe stated.

There are a lot of tools available of course if you or a loved one is experiencing severe anxiety or depression, we recommend you do contact your doctor.

Some of the resources we found include:
CDC: Managing Stress And Anxiety
Cleveland Clinic: 5 Ways To Manage Stress During The Coronavirus Outbreak

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Lisa Petrillo