Kati Morton’s YouTube Channel Could Help Soothe Your Coronavirus Anxiety
Showbiz Cheat Sheet chatted with mental health YouTuber and marriage and family therapist Kati Morton. She told us how she’s using her channel to provide support and offer tips on how to remain calm during the coronavirus crisis. Here’s a peek inside our conversation.
Showbiz Cheat Sheet: How are you using your YouTube channel to help those dealing with extreme stress related to coronavirus?
Kati Morton: I have been creating content related to the anxiety, panic, and even isolation we have been feeling. In each video I offer tips and tools my viewers can use today to better manage all they are feeling. I have also been doing more livestreams as a way for me to connect to my community and for them to connect to each other.
CS: How long is too long to be under a lot of stress?
KM: Honestly, being under stress for more than a very short period of time isn’t good for us. Having our body and brain go into our stress response is taxing and it takes about 90 minutes for our system to calm itself down afterwards. While a low-grade stress can be motivating and helpful in our life, anything more than that should be avoided or managed quickly.
CS: How does the body and mind respond to chronic stress?
KM: Chronic stress can cause a lot of issues. In our body we can gain weight, have increased blood pressure, difficulty sleeping, and lowered immune system to name a few. Our mind has its own response, our amygdala sets off our “fight, flight, freeze” response, overrides our prefrontal cortex and dumps adrenaline into our system so we can do what we need to do to get away from the threat.
If this goes on for a long time we can struggle with anxious thoughts, show some signs of depression, not to mention that when we are in ‘fight, flight, freeze.” We aren’t very good at making important decisions (because our prefrontal cortex is offline and that’s our wise decision maker).
CS: How can we stay calm amid the stress of the coronavirus?
KM: The best way to stay calm is to find ways to connect to those we love. I know we can’t do that in person right now, but we can still be social. Perhaps you Zoom, FaceTime, Skype, or just call family and friends so you feel connected to other people. Connection is the true antidote to all the stress we have been experiencing.
CS: How can we support friends and family members who are struggling with coronavirus-related anxiety?
KM: Reach out and make time to chat with them. Checking in every day if you have the time could really help.
CS: What advice would you give to someone who feels like they just can’t handle the stress related to the coronavirus?
KM: Reach out for help. All mental health professionals I know are still working and seeing patients via Zoom, FaceTime, Skype, or just phone sessions. There are even online therapy resources like BetterHelp or TalkSpace that offer online services year-round, as well as The Crisis Text Line which has trained crisis counselors available 24/7 to talk and help. Just text “hello” to 741741. It’s okay to reach out and get some professional support, and the sooner we do, the better.
CS: What advice would you give to those who may have become infected with the virus? How can they can remain calm?
KM: Do what you can. Meaning, call your doctor, do everything they tell you to do, and have regular check ins with your friends and family. Since we aren’t doctors, we have to trust in our professionals and take the action we can. Most people who catch the virus survive it. Just focus on that and taking care of yourself so your body can fight it off, too.
Thought stopping techniques also work, so instead of your mind falling down a worry well, we pull it out and force our brain to remember our favorite vacation, happy memory, or something we want to do when this is over. Pulling our mind away from the spiraling worry thoughts will help us feel better too.
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