Feeling stressed out? Kaiser Permanente physician offers tips on how to cope

Take time to take care of yourself, and a big mahalo to all front-line workers!

Sponsored by Kaiser Permanente Hawaii

On this Mahalo Monday, HI Now wants to say a special thank you to our front-line workers — especially those offering a message of hope. HI Now host Kanoe Gibson spoke with a Kaiser Permanente psychiatrist who is giving tips on how to cope with stress during this time.

“The first thing that I always tell people when we talk about managing your anxiety during this pandemic is to give yourself credit for just making it this far,” says Dr. Mason Turner. “Be kind to yourself. Understand that we’re all just in this day by day by day, and we’re kind of writing this script as we go along.”

Dr. Turner recommends taking the first step of accepting where you are and how you’re responding to it. Then look at what you need to change and formulate a plan to figure out how to do that.

“We should be looking out for one another,” says Dr. Turner. “If we notice something that’s off, if somebody doesn’t seem themselves… say something in a very kind supportive fashion.”

Dr. Turner recommends taking a look at your life and trying to figure out where you can reduce some stress. No one can do anything about the pandemic, but you might be able to postpone some major decisions. The next thing he recommends is building some relaxation activities into your life where you can decompress, take a step back, and focus on the present moment.

“Meditate. Learn how to breathe and focus on your breath. Those kinds of things can be very, very useful in the middle of a very busy day,” Dr. Turner says. “They allow us to pause, but also exercise of course is good for our bodies as well.”

About Dr. Mason Turner:

Dr. Mason Turner is a psychiatrist and addiction medicine specialist practicing on Maui with Kaiser Permanente Hawaii.  He is board certified in psychiatry by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and in addiction medicine by the American Board of Preventive Medicine.

Dr. Turner received his medical degree at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas and completed residency at Harvard Medical School.

For more information: kp.org, findyourwords.org, or on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @kphawaii