coronavirus illinois

Top Tips From Mental Health Experts As Illinois Reopens

As Illinois reopens and coronavirus cases dip, mental health professionals offer advice on how to re-emerge.

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Illinois is reopening Friday and you may be excited, but mental health professionals say not everyone feels ready.

"We’ve been through a collective trauma and that is not addressed in a day," said Andrea Burkly, a Glen Ellyn-based licensed clinical professional counselor.

Burkly said we need to learn how to live well again. She said you can start by getting plenty of sleep, exercising, eating well, connecting with a friend and considering therapy.

"We need to be respectful and understand that people are adjusting as well as they can," Burkly said. "It’s good to be optimistic and at the same just hold on to the truth that what we’ve been through I hard and that doesn’t change the day this state reopens."

But as COVID cases diminish, health care workers may face new challenges.

"They’ll get eye infections or some kind of sickness. It’s because their body has been under so much stress, that now that things calm down, it can finally take a look at what it’s gone through, both psychologically and physically. It can kind of start to mend, and part of that is we will see a lot of people getting sick," said clinical psychologist Dr. Saloumeh Bozorgzadeh.

Bozorgzadeh spoke to health care workers at Roseland Community Hospital on Thursday.

"They were the bright hope during a dark chaos and they were a backbone behind this hospital’s warrior like stance against COVID," said hospital CEO Tim Egan.

Bozorgzadeh is also urging members of the public to step of their comfort zone a little.

"That’s healthy, but also remember to balance out your life," Bozorgzadeh said. "That is the biggest tip I can give is make sure you’re not going to any extreme. Make sure you’re giving time for yourself."

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