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'It's normal to be stressed' | Local expert weighs in on mental health during COVID-19 pandemic

Licensed counselor Sarah Griffith said if you feel stressed, overwhelmed or alone know that a lot of people feel that way too.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — For many people, the reality of a global pandemic can be a bit scary. So what better way to cope than to talk to an expert.

"This is uncharted territory there's no one size fits all,"  licensed professional counselor Sarah Griffith said.

Conversation about how the pandemic is weighing on people's mental health is something she's experienced a lot lately.

"They're feeling all alone and they are feeling bad for complaining so just normalizing that and saying they are not alone, that matters," she said. 

But, what about consuming both information and also dealing with life changes like the loss of a job, an income or even a family member?

"I think it's definitely okay, that's what people are trying to do right now how do I be okay with no being okay, if I'm always supposed to be okay," Griffith said. 

Plus what if having having time on your hands leads to more stressful thinking? Should you be stressed about how to spend your time? 

Griffith said the answer to that has a lot to do with you as a person.

"Know yourself, the more you know yourself, the more you know where you're at and your boundaries, when you need to be productive or being okay with not being productive," she said. 

But then there's the question of whether or not you should have yourself a break, some grace and a chance to catch your breath?

Griffith said that might be key for many people around the world.

"Yes absolutely," she said "We're all kind of holding our breath so creating a space where we can take our armor off is gonna be the most important part."

If you or someone you know may need a reference to mental health resources, you can find several here

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