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How to cope with stress, anxiety amid COVID-19 Updated: 2020-03-23 10:10:39 KST

Consciously seeking moments of calm, an increasing number of Koreans are turning to meditation at home amid the coronavirus pandemic.
A smart app provided by KT offers guided meditations to help people relax and forget about their coronavirus-related concerns.

"There are 11 tracks specifically for COVID-19 and other tracks for handling stress and anxiety. The app has seen a 20 percent jump in users since we launched the coronavirus playlist."

A pandemic can generate fear and panic.
And experts say it's during these times that people must be more mindful of their emotional state.

"If you are seeing a serious change in your mood or you're feeling hopeless, you're having thoughts about wanting to hurt yourself or other people, it'd be very important to seek help with a mental health professional. "

As societies practice social distancing, experts say isolation should be done in a healthy way that maintains social bonds.

"Social distancing shouldn't be the same as social isolation. You know, it's important to stay emotionally connected to people even though it's not necessarily face to face. You know, scheduling, FaceTime calls to your friends, checking in to see how they're doing, making sure that you realize and accept that this is a very difficult situation and normalizing the experience is very important."

The WHO suggests turning off news stories and social media, and instead developing a routine of exercise, cleaning, daily chores, and other activities.

"Psychology research shows that having activity, that doing activities that bring either pleasure or give you with giving a sense of accomplishment helps really boost your mood "

To help those who feel stressed or upset by the COVID-19 outbreak, South Korean health authorities are providing free counselling and support on the 1339 helpline.
Oh Soo-young, Arirang News.
Reporter : osy@arirang.com
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