KITCHENER -- The COVID-19 pandemic death projections released today by provincial officials may be a lot to take in and leave many with feelings of sadness, anxiety and stress.

Experts say now is the time to use strategies to maintain mental wellness and check in with yourself.

“We are now in anticipatory grief where our mind is showing us images that we are all seeing that ‘oh my goodness my parents could die. My grandparents could die. I could die,’” says David Kessler, a grief expert and author.

He adds that people need to find balance when dealing with this crisis.

“We have to maintain our hope and that’s why remembering those best scenarios is really helpful too,” he says.

According to Kessler, people are already feeling various stages of grief including denial, anger, bargaining and sadness.

Psychologist Christine Purdon says there are many things people can do to lessen the stress or anxiety during tough times.

“We just sit there getting very jittery and very anxious. Exercise is a wonderful way to manage and discharge that,” Purdon says.

The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health recommends devoting time to unplugging from electronics, eating healthy food, avoiding substance abuse and getting proper rest.

“We want to try to not burn out from our anxiety and I would say one of the big things to do is to enjoy the small things in life,” Purdon says.

She goes on to say people should take time to stay connected with loved ones, focus on positivity and what you can control during these difficult times.