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Mental health expert weighs in on extended staycation at home

"Panic disorders, anxiety, and folks with OCD are having a lot of problems because this is really a stimulant to their anxiety they already have."

CHESAPEAKE, Va. — COVID-19 is bringing a lot of uncertainty. People are feeling worried and anxious. The virus is keeping many people away from their jobs for the foreseeable future. 

“Mental health is often overlooked but we know the American population has a mental health disorder,” explained Michele Davidson.

Davidson is a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner with Leva Psychiatry. She decided on Saturday to start working from home to keep her clients happy and healthy.

“Panic disorders, anxiety, and folks with OCD are having a lot of problems because this is really a stimulant to their anxiety they already have,” she said.

Davidson said right now it can be hard for many cooped up in their homes. That even includes students off of school for the foreseeable future. She has four kids herself, who are all trying to stay busy!

“Utilize things like a pen pal program. We started that at our house. When they are writing to their classmates and sending real letters. A lot of children have never done that. Virtual playdates via FaceTime and other platforms so they can still see their friends,” Davidson suggested. 

Davidson said she is telling her clients that it is OK to go outside and get some fresh air. She said people can also utilize free apps on their smartphones to clear their minds and get a good night's sleep.

She said, “The Insight Timer app is a great app. It has meditation and sleep therapy on it. Daily Yoga is another app.”

Davidson said if you're still feeling down, don’t hesitate to reach out for help.

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