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Basseterre, St. Kitts, April 26, 2020 (SKNIS): The Ministry of Health is asking citizens and residents of St. Kitts and Nevis to be aware of their own mental health and to find ways to cope with the stress caused by the COVID-19 virus. Coping with this type of stress can come in a variety of ways as people need to feel secure in their chosen stress reliever, for instance, some will turn to physical outlets like exercise, yoga, pilates, etc. whilst others will use herbal supplements, as well as CBD products from websites similar to pure shaka, or use essential oils. People just need to try what is out there and see which connects and helps them more.

This was stated by Dr. Marissa Carty, Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Health Emergency Operations Center (HEOC), during the April 22 National Emergency Operations Center (NEOC) COVID-19 Daily Briefing.

She said, “This outbreak of COVID-19 may be stressful for many persons especially those persons in isolation, quarantine and even the general public during the 24-hour lockdown days. Fear and anxiety about the disease can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions to both adults and children.”

“Stress during an infections disease outbreak can include anxiety about your own health and the health of your loved ones, changes in sleep and eating patterns, difficulty in sleeping and concentrating, worsening chronic and mental health conditions and an increase in the use of alcohol tobacco and other drugs,” she said.

“Taking care of yourself, your family and your friends can help you cope with the stress that may arise in isolation and helping others cope with their stress can also make your community stronger,” said Dr. Carty.

She highlighted some of the ways citizens of St. Kitts and Nevis can deal with stress saying, “take time to grow spiritually, even while you are isolated. You can find happiness in being aware of your spirituality and filling it with bible study and prayer.”

Dr. Carty also recommended that citizens and residents “take breaks from watching, reading or listening to news stories including social media.” She says that “Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting for some.”

She pinpointed that citizens and residents should “Take care of your body, take deep breaths, stretch or meditate, eat healthily with well-balanced meals, exercise regularly and get plenty of sleep and avoid alcohol and drugs.”

“Take time to unwind, try to do some other activities you enjoy like reading or even engaging in DIY projects,” she said

“Being able to cope with stress during isolation, quarantine or lockdown will make you, the people you care about and your community stronger,” she added.

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