How to Cope with the Coronavirus Outbreak – An NJCTS Youth Advocate Perspective

Hi my name is Kyla Butler. I am a sophomore at Jefferson Township High School. Who would have thought that the Corona virus would have come into our lives and homes and changed them so drastically. We have had so much change in such a short period of time. For me, change can be really stressful and I worry. When I am stressed and worried, I tic a lot more.. For people who don’t know, I have Tourette syndrome (TS). TS is a neurological disorder that is characterized by repetitive movements or unwanted sounds called motor and vocal tics. I have been getting stressed out over the whole pandemic event. At first, it was hard to focus, get started with a task, and stay focused. I know there are a lot of people out there my age with learning issues that are having trouble too. People are not just having trouble with school or work but also just understanding and wondering what will happen next. I wanted to help those who are also getting stressed out over this whole thing.

Kyla Racing

I am the leader of a group called “Not Just Tourette Syndrome Awareness”. My club’s goal is to help those with disabilities interact with others in the general public. However, with this epidemic it is important to practice social distancing. I have been using different strategies to help with reducing my stress and help me navigate through this epidemic. First of all, I am trying to eat right. I’m trying to stay away from a lot of junk food. Foods and drinks with a lot of sugar can make me very hyper and add to my anxiety. I am trying to get enough sleep and stay connected with friends and extended family. I make sure I get outside and move. Sometimes it is a run or walk with my Mom or family, sometimes it’s standing outside and listening to the sounds of the neighborhood, playing soccer with my brother, riding my bike, listening to music, visualizing a place or activity that makes me feel at peace, and meditation. In this time of uncertainty, try to find your place of peace to get away from the stress for a while.

Kyla and family enjoying the outdoors!

I am a three sport athlete and I am here to share what you can do to stay active and stay calm during this pandemic. Some things you can do to stay active are to go outside and play soccer, play with your sibling or even with your mom and dad, work out, go for a run or walk, and so many more fun activities. Ways to stay calm are you can go for a walk or run which always helps me stay calm, you can meditate, and other activities that help you calm down.

“When it rains look for rainbows when it’s dark look for stars.” -Oscar Wilde

Stay Home, Stay Healthy, Stay Active, and Stay Safe,
Kyla Butler


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