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Michelle Obama shared an encouraging message to Americans as they practice self-isolation amid the novel coronavirus pandemic

“You aren’t alone,” the former first lady’s stated in a lengthy post on Instagram, PEOPLE reports.

“These past few weeks have been scary and difficult for many of us. We just don’t have a roadmap for what we’re currently experiencing—that in and of itself can bring up feelings of anxiety, loneliness, and fear,” Obama added. “Whatever you’re going through right now, I want you to know you aren’t alone. Even as we practice social distancing, this new normal is something we are figuring out together.”

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These past few weeks have been scary and difficult for many of us. We just don’t have a roadmap for what we’re currently experiencing—that in and of itself can bring up feelings of anxiety, loneliness, and fear. Not to mention the worry we feel about the health and safety of our parents, children, and loved ones and the financial security of so many families. Whatever you’re going through right now, I want you to know you aren’t alone. Even as we practice social distancing, this new normal is something we are figuring out together. As for me, I know when I’m feeling overwhelmed that picking up the phone and calling one of my girlfriends can work wonders. I also know staying close to my community helps me to feel connected and strong. If you’re not sure what that looks like these days, I’ve offered a few suggestions to get you started. But this is by no means an exhaustive list! Add your comment below with the ways you’re showing up for your community during these tough times. And don’t forget: It’s okay to take a breath, too. Be gentle with yourself. Log off when you need to, take a break if you can, and let others know when you’d like a little help. Illustrations: @grantagold Graphics: @linseyfields

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Obama also shared tips on how people can help their community while in isolation.

“Contact your local school and sign up to volunteer with their food distribution program,” one of her suggestions read. “Know a teacher or two? Reach out and ask how you can help.”

She urges the public to offer to pick up groceries for the elderly and those who are at a greater risk of contracting the coronavirus.

“Search online and get involved with neighborhood groups that may already be assisting,” she wrote.

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Obama noted that her suggestions were “by no means an exhaustive list!”

“And don’t forget: It’s okay to take a breath, too,” she added. “Be gentle with yourself. Log off when you need to, take a break if you can, and let others know when you’d like a little help.”

White House aide Ivanka Trump also shared words of encouragement during the COVID-19 crisis via Instagram.

“We’re all in this together,” Trump said in a video message on Monday. “We’ll emerge from this stronger than before and maybe more deeply or profoundly connected with our own humanity.”

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