NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The rise of the Delta variant is plunging many of us back into COVID-19 pandemic anxiety.

Just as things were turning back to normal, increased hospitalizations are threatening to shut down lives again.

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But as experts recently told CBS2’s Christina Fan, the best way to cope is through hope.

When fear gripped New York during the early days of the pandemic, people sought refuge through Dr. Ahron Friedberg’s iPad screen. The psychological distress he treated was so prevalent, the psychiatrist documented the syndrome in a book called, “Through A Screen Darkly: Psychoanalytic Reflections During The Pandemic.”

“I saw people with acute anxiety, major depression, post-traumatic stress. People of all ages were suffering,” Friedberg said.

Just as the world was opening up again, the highly contagious Delta variant arrived, sending pandemic anxiety back through the roof.

Infections are up, masks are back. Hopes for a post-vaccination, COVID-free summer have been dashed.

“I think it’s inevitable that it’s going to go backwards,” said Hillary Helberg of Manhattan.

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“I’m extremely concerned, even though the schools they are attending, they are extremely careful. However, you cannot control everything,” added parent Galo Carrillo of Queens.

For those struggling with anxiety, the return of uncertainty can be debilitating. Experts say self-care during a time like this is crucial.

“Exercise and physical activity burns off some of those stress hormones and can relax tense muscles,” CBS2’s Dr. Max Gomez said. “Yoga, meditation and even a warm bath can also be relaxing and help you refocus.”

Psychiatrics say it’s also important to keep in mind the situation we find ourselves is no longer quite as unprecedented.

We persevered once before.

“Part of being strong is having hope, so it’s important to remain hopeful and optimistic during this period of time,” Friedberg said.

And remember, we are all more resilient than we think.

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CBS2’s Christina Fan contributed to this report.