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Will students return to school? Expert weighs in on coping with the unknown

As parents and schools wait anxiously for more guidance from the state about reopening, we got advice from an expert on how to cope with the unknown.

CLEVELAND — 3News’ Hollie Strano has been an outspoken advocate for mental health and wanted to find out more about how to cope with the stress that can come with the current pandemic. She had a very honest conversation with clinical health psychologist Dr. Lori Stevic-Rust, about how the unknown over the upcoming school year can cause tension for adults and children.

Dr. Stevic-Rust says the best way to cope with uncertainty is to start thinking and plan for what may lie ahead.

“At the same time you have a parallel coping process running that if things are delayed, that this is what it's going to look like for us. And that's as far in the future as your coping can take you.”

Dr. Stevic-Rust also talks about the human reaction to uncertainty.

“We always think about uncertainty as 'Wow! We've never been here before.'”

But Stevic-Rust says the truth is that life is full of uncertainties.

“We make plans and we're clipping along, and then comes the diagnosis, or the accident, or the divorce or the injury. And then our life becomes uncertain in different ways,” she says.

“I'm not comparing life stressors to a pandemic, I'm comparing it in a sense that we kind of trick our mind into believing that life is so predictable and so certain.”

Dr. Stevic-Rust also says it’s important to remind ourselves that we are resilient.

“If we can keep pulling back and reminding ourselves of that, it gives us more power than we really are allowing ourselves access to right now.”

For more advice from Dr. Lori, you can check out her site here.

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