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Kevin Love addresses coronavirus & anxiety: ‘Nothing unites us like a common enemy’

'I think people are looking for that sense of community, the feeling of being integrated into something bigger than themselves.'

CLEVELAND — “I think during those times you can feel incredibly hopeless, and I think that’s at the root of all anxiety and depression first and foremost.”

Those are the words of Cleveland Cavaliers star Kevin Love, who made a FaceTime appearance from Cleveland on Wednesday’s TODAY on NBC.

“What’s not good for you to do is just sit at home and be by yourself and not reach out to anybody,” Love told Hoda Kotb. “I think people are looking for that sense of community, the feeling of being integrated into something bigger than themselves.”

Love, who opened up about his mental health story last year, offered his own advice for those with anxiety during the coronavirus situation.

“What’s not good for you to do is just sit at home and be by yourself and not reach out to anybody. I think people are looking for that sense of community, the feeling of being integrated into something bigger than themselves. We’re sitting here on FaceTime right now. People can do it virtually. I’ve been reaching out to my friends, my family.”

He said it’s important everybody remain empathetic to each other.

“Continue to just tell people what you’re going through. I know it’s a very stressful, anxiety-ridden time. I said last night, I did a PSA for the NBA that nothing unites us like a common enemy. I think if we can attack this together, human beings can be extremely, extremely resilient and we will get through it. If we can stay connected and be together throughout this time I think that’s going to allow people to be a lot healthier in the long run.”

Last week, Love pledged $100,000 to the Cavs arena employees and team staff impacted by the cancellation of NBA games.

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“A lot of people living paycheck to paycheck, so I felt this is really the time – especially for us NBA players – to walk the walk and be more than athletes. We see people in the community. We see people working in our arena at least 41 nights out of the year with us playing home games. It was just a way for me to help navigate this incredibly stressful and anxiety-ridden time to just pay it forward and really help them. It’s been tough and trying to just normalize this conversation around what’s going on. … I think it’s more of a time for us to step up and be community leaders and do what’s right for the people that are having a very stressful and tough time.”

Dr. Luis Felipe Amunategui, a clinical psychologist at University Hospitals, says many people are apprehensive over not knowing how long their schedules could be impacted. However, he points out there are positives.

“I’ve seen a lot of kids outside playing in their backyards and climbing trees and things I have not seen in a long time,” he said. “Interesting how it’s bringing us all together and raising our consciousness that we’re all interconnected and we’re responsible for each other’s well-being.”

Experts say anxiety is normal right now, no matter who you are. Beth Johnson of ReSet Lounge Chagrin Falls offers some tools that may help: resetlounge.com/blog/notes-to-self.

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