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Prioritizing mental health during a pandemic

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BATON ROUGE- As the shift in normalcy shakes up daily routines, health professionals want to emphasize the importance of prioritizing mental health. 

This is why NeuroMedical Center's Clinical Psychologist Dr. Brooke B. Cole says there are ways to cope with the stress. 

"The goal is not that we have to force ourselves into some level of growth right now. The goal is to take care of ourselves," she said. 

Dr. Cole says to be mindful of the information coming into your home. With so many news stories about the tragedies of the Pandemic, it's easy to feel overwhelmed.

"We have all these recommendations about self-care, and being really active, and making this time somehow productive in some way. And if that's the way that you need to cope then do it, but at the same time, don't add a  burden on yourself that you have to use this time to be productive."

She says it's important to keep a routine, exercise daily, and also remember to get plenty of sleep.

"Sleep is the thing that is going to reset us. It's the thing that gives us the ability to handle the next day's stress."

Dr. Cole says Louisiana has experienced what it's like to go through tough storms. 

The state is resilient, but it's okay to set aside time to just take care of yourself. 

"We have a lot of ability to sustain adversity. But what we need to do is focus on how we take care of ourselves in that immediate moment."

Doctor Cole says if anyone is having trouble coping with life's current challenges, do not hesitate to reach out to a counselor or mental health professional.

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