While people stay at home and adhere to social distancing guidelines, many are starting to seek out new shows and movies to help kill time and keep their minds off coronavirus pandemic worries. But the best thing to watch might just be your old favorites, says Dr. Maria Baratta, a licensed clinical social worker.
"To watch stuff that you know the ending to, especially if it's a decent ending, is important," Baratta tells CNBC Make It. "During these days, we don't know what's happening. We don't know how long this is going to last."
On Sunday, President Donald Trump extended national social-distancing guidelines from his original projected April 12 deadline to April 30. He added that he hopes the U.S. will "be well on our way to recovery" by June 1. But even with that prediction in mind, it's hard to know when this era will truly be over.
While news updates regarding the pandemic may feel unpredictable and ever-changing, a show or movie you've already seen will always stay the same. Watching something you already know the ending to can provide a balance to the uncertainty of real life, says Baratta.
"There's no anxiety there. It's like, Okay, this is gonna end well," she says. "When people are going through a hard time, that helps."
Baratta also advises her clients to avoid bingeing "heavier" content, such as horror or apocalyptic movies and shows, when they're facing higher levels of stress or anxiety.
"What you put in, in terms of sensory information, stays there," Baratta says. The impact of the content you take in can affect you long after you finish watching.
Instead, Baratta suggests turning on lighter shows and movies that will put you in a good mood, rather than make you feel stressed or scared. Try watching "whatever can make you laugh, even if it's lame," says Baratta. "I think that it's really important to connect with something, to balance out the somber mood of what you listen to on the news."