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Doctors offer tips for managing COVID-19 related anxiety, five months into pandemic

It's been more than 5 months since Tennessee reported its first case of COVID-19.

Five months ago, Tennessee health leaders reported the first case of COVID-19 in the state. Now, more people are reporting increased anxiety due to the pandemic.

Doctors said it is helpful to take a break from social media and from reading the news. By stepping away from laptops and pocketing smartphones, they said people can feel a little calmer.

They also said people should try to spend some time outside and stay physically active to relieve COVID-19 related stress. Eating healthy is also an important component of mental health, as well as physical health.

Socialization is also vital to relieve stress, experts said. They recommended creating a small group of friends to safely meet with during the pandemic.

"We're social people by nature and when you're with people, you can practice those safeguards," Dr. John Whyte said, who works with WebMD. "You can walk around and you don't have to be just glued to a screen."

Finally, experts said it helps to try and focus on positives despite all the negatives from the COVID-19 pandemic. By focusing on the small things worth appreciating, the world may start to seem less stressful.