Coping skills can help people hit the "pandemic wall," says the former president of the American Medical Association

Coping techniques can help people struggling with the psychological effects of the Covid crisis, said psychiatrist Dr. Patrice Harris told CNBC.

"I want everyone first of all to give each other grace and space to feel how they feel. Know that we are not helpless," Harris said on CNBC's The News with Shepard Smith on Wednesday.

A recent report found that nearly half of US workers surveyed have had mental health problems since the coronavirus pandemic began.

"We're all hitting this wall, but it's time to build on our reserves," said Harris, past president of the American Medical Association.

Harris said, exercising, getting enough food and sleep, and establishing new routines can all help keep people off the "pandemic wall".

Harris stressed the need to lower personal expectations in the face of the pandemic.

"We should put less pressure on ourselves," said Harris. "Know that we can't do everything."

Maintaining connections with friends and loved ones is vital even in times of social distancing, she said. For those suffering from "zoom fatigue," Harris suggested phone calls.

When coping mechanisms aren't enough, Harris stressed the importance of asking for help.

"We have to make sure that we seek professional help," said Harris. "And there's no shame in it."

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