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PNS Daily News - September 22, 2020 


The Supreme Court vacancy raises stakes for a reproductive-rights campaign; voter-registration deadlines are just around the corner; and the pandemic compounds child-care woes.


2020Talks - September 22, 2020 


It's National Voter Registration Day. Plus, the Supreme Court and abortion are back, center stage, in the election spotlight.

Health Experts on COVID-19: Stay Informed, But Avoid the Stress

To avoid stress during the COVID-19 crisis, mental-health experts suggest relying only on information from public health agencies and not social media. (Adobe Stock)
To avoid stress during the COVID-19 crisis, mental-health experts suggest relying only on information from public health agencies and not social media. (Adobe Stock)
March 18, 2020

WAUKESHA, Wis. -- Wisconsin residents are being urged to follow the advice of health experts and practice social isolation while keeping up on the latest news about COVID-19. But some providers say there are certain pitfalls to avoid -- including letting the troubling stream of news about the coronavirus create too much anxiety.

Dan Bizjak, a psychotherapist with ProHealth Care in Waukesha, said one way to avoid that is by limiting social media use and the constant flow of information, including false posts.

"With a lot of our stress and anxiety, a lot of it's just sparked because of emotion because we don't know," he said, "and that fear is oftentimes what leads us to make decisions that [are] probably not the best for us."

Bizjack said anxiety shows itself by making a panic run to the store to stock up on things you don't really need, or completely isolating yourself out of fear. When stress isn't managed well, he said, it can lead to physical health issues. He said calling a loved one or chatting with a neighbor over the fence are small steps that can go a long way in staying well during the health scare.

Bizjak said it's also important to not let boredom set in, which can pave the way for unhealthy habits. He said planning your days with constructive activities is vital.

"Keep yourself occupied. Read a book. Do something that helps distract you," he said. "Bring down that stress or that anxiety level."

Meanwhile, groups such as the American Heart Association also encourage checking in on family, friends and neighbors, who also may be at risk of exacerbating their own health issues. Tips from the association are online at heart.org.

Disclosure: American Heart Association of Wisconsin contributes to our fund for reporting on Health Issues, Hunger/Food/Nutrition, Smoking Prevention. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.
Mike Moen, Public News Service - WI