PLEASANTON (KPIX 5) — A clinical psychologist gave tips to help people cope with the long-term coronavirus shelter-in-place as schools and businesses in the Bay Area are closed until May due to the extended order.

With calendars less cluttered and most peoples’ lives at a standstill with more time to think, clinical psychologist Dr. Mark Emerson offered this advice: allow yourself to worry for only a certain amount of time a day and then turn off that worry, get adequate sleep, and try to connect with people during the day, especially those who live alone and who may feel even more isolated.

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Emerson advised people to only worry about things they can control, such as staying inside, washing hands and sanitizing. He says not to clutter your mind with uncontrollable factors.

High school senior Phaedra Hageman told KPIX that she is coping by putting her feelings into her artwork. But it doesn’t hide the fact that she won’t get to live through the exciting end of her senior year, cut short by the public health outbreak, which she says is “just really disappointing and sad.”

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“I was looking forward to going to senior ball and going to my graduation and just seeing my friends at the end of the year,” she said. But there was a silver lining; she said Tuesday that she received a college acceptance letter from a school of art and design.

Foothill High School art teacher Trish Fenton said she hopes her students will keep drawing and expressing their thoughts as a way to help themselves through this difficult time.

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“It’s a little bit darker. And they are sad. They are actually going a little stir crazy, They actually miss school and their teachers. Who would have thought?” Fenton said.

Juliette Goodrich