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Coping techniques can help people hitting the ‘pandemic wall,’ ex-American Medical Association president says

Coping techniques can help people struggling with the mental health effects of the Covid crisis, psychiatrist Dr. Patrice Harris told CNBC.

“I want everyone to first of all give themselves grace and space to feel how they are feeling. Know that we are not helpless,” Harris said Wednesday on CNBC’s “The News with Shepard Smith.”

A recent report found that nearly half of surveyed U.S. workers have been suffering from mental health issues since the coronavirus pandemic began.

“We are all hitting that wall, but it is time to build on our reserves,” Harris, former president of the American Medical Association, said.

Physical activity, adequate food and sleep, and establishing new routines can help people avoid hitting the “pandemic wall,” according to Harris.

Harris emphasized the need to lower personal expectations amid the pandemic.

“We should put less pressure on ourselves,” Harris said. “Know that we cannot do it all.”

Maintaining connections with friends and loved ones is also crucial during a time of social distancing, she said. For those experiencing “Zoom fatigue,” Harris suggested phone calls.

When coping mechanisms are not enough, Harris stressed the importance of asking for help.

“We need to make sure that we seek out professional help,” Harris said. “And it’s no shame in doing so.”