KCMO parks provide stress relief amid COVID-19 pandemic

Couple at Loose Park.png
Family at Loose Park.png
Posted at 9:23 PM, Aug 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-30 23:32:31-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo.  — The isolation experienced due to social distancing and working from home during the coronavirus pandemic can take a toll on mental health.

"The additional stress and anxieties that the pandemic has brought to the forefront on everyone just adds to that," said Julie Pratt, president and CEO of Comprehensive Mental Health. "You have people who are dealing with loss of jobs, loss of housing, inability to see and visit with family members."

There are several steps people can take to help ease their minds, such as maintaining a routine, exercising and sticking to a consistent meal schedule, according to the World Health Organization, as well as taking time for things they enjoy.

"Continue connecting with the people in your lives," Pratt said. "Whether that's making that phone call, reaching out over zoom or those social media contacts you have."

On Sunday at Loose Park, several people were outside enjoying the fresh air.

"The social distancing stuff I get, but just having to be around people and see people live life, it gets boring when you’re just by yourself in your place," said Kansas City, Missouri, resident Tim Marcus.

Marcus was laying in hammocks with his three children.

"I mean, kids have to be outside," he said. "They have to, like this is like the most unfortunate thing is, like these kids are getting the raw end of the deal here."

Claudia Bolden visited Loose Park to celebrate her son's 19th birthday.

"We’re just trying to get some scenery and air," she said, "trying to get out of the house just for a little while."

However, some people 41 Action News talked with are feeling the long lasting impacts of this pandemic.

"Recently though, we’re feeling it more," said Huston Wyeth, who lives in Kansas City, Missouri, "lack of friends or lack of being with our friends, cooking at home, which isn’t a bad thing, but missing restaurants."

Still, Huston and Megan Wyeth have tried to adapt.

"Exercising, making sure we take walks with our dog everyday, and I’m taking an art class on Zoom," Megan said.

The couple de-stresses by taking in the beauty at the park, knowing eventually the pandemic will end.

"Realizing that things are going to be OK at some point and not to worry about it too much," Huston said.