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Coronavirus is playing games with our minds; here’s how to win

Coronavirus is playing games with our minds. All this social distancing and self-imposed quarantine can wear on your psyche.

Experts fear many people are going to need help battling post-coronavirus depression and anxiety.

In fact, after this is all over, many people may suffer the same depression that astronauts experience after a long stay on the space station, or inmates feel in solitary confinement.

Here are some ways to help stop those negative thoughts.

One key tool experts use to help people already suffering from anxiety and depression is to imitate someone they admire -- but that might not be an option now.

“What’s everybody else doing? Well, when everyone else around you is panicking, then that panic starts to feel normal and that’s not good. That’s not healthy,” said A.J. Marsden, a psychologist at Beacon College.

Instead, practice temporal distancing or focus your attention on a longer timescale. Imagine how you might look back on these events a year from now.

Also, disconnect from negativity. Keep your news intake to 30 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes at night.

Don’t fall victim to cognitive distortions. Don’t convince yourself something is worse than it is.

Set aside 15 minutes a day to write your worries down. After that, don’t let your mind think about the issue for the rest of the day. By doing this, you’ll also be able to identify your negative thoughts and work on dispelling them.

“Once you identify that, you can start to limit your exposure to that trigger,” Marsden told Ivanhoe Newswire.

And stick to your routines. Sleeping, waking, taking meds and eating at regular times can help focus your mind now and ease the impact after it’s all over.

Some people may experience PTSD symptoms after self-isolating and re-integrating back into their ordinary routine. Social isolation may have gradually become your normal and losing it may also be a jolt to your psyche.