Mental Health Tips as Covid Ends

By Laura MeCoy

Venice Family Clinic

With the State of California planning

to eliminate most COVID-19 restrictions

on June 15, Iliniza (Nisa) Baty,

Venice Family Clinic’s director of behavioral

health, today offered four tips

for people to avoid stress, fear and

anxiety as they resume broader social

interactions and return to the workplace

and group outings. She encouraged

people to explore the root of their

fears, focus on what they can control,

get outdoors and exercise and recognize

they’re not alone.

“Our social muscles may have atrophied

as we sheltered at home over

the past year, and the return to normal

social interactions may cause stress

and anxiety,” she said. “We need to

recognize that for some of us, it may

take small steps to get back to feeling

comfortable again at work, school and

in groups.”

She encouraged people to explore

the root of their fears by takinga step

back and questioning whether they

feel anxiety about the state of the global

pandemic broadly or whether their

fears are based on their own experiences?

She said that taking the time to

conduct this assessment will help offer

fresh answers and perspective.

With all the challenges of the pandemic,

Baty said people need to focus

on what they can control now – from

the way they control their breath to the

decisions about where they go and

who they see.

“When you intentionally choose to

focus on what you can take action on,

you start to eliminate ifs and buts and

any fears associated with those,” she

said. “It is extremely powerful.”

To help ease anxiety and stress, she

suggests getting outside and exercising

because physical movement helps

calm these emotions. She suggested

starting with small steps, such as a

walk around the block, and to expand

that over time.

Baty also said sharing feelings and

experiences with others not only reminds

people that they aren’t alone;

it helps relieve stress and anxiety.

Speaking with a counselor or other

mental health professional can help.

To become a patient of Venice Family

Clinic, please call (310) 392-8636. L.A.

County offers help at (800) 854-7721

for COVID-19 related stress and support


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