Anxiety As a Result of the Pandemic
The pandemic has brought about uncertainty for many of us. You may find yourself concerned about the virus, changes in employment, finances, etc. It is not unusual that you may have felt anxious during this period. According to the CDC (2020) over 30 percent of Americans have reported symptoms of anxiety since the pandemic. Symptoms of anxiety can include persistent worry, nervousness, restlessness and changes in breathing or heart rate.
There are strategies to manage anxiety when it arises. One is to communicate with support systems. Support systems have shown to have a positive impact on overall mental wellbeing (MHFA, 2020). Take some time to communicate with family members, friends, colleagues or any one you consider to be a positive support. This is especially important now that we are spending more of our time alone. The next option would be to engage in mindfulness-based practices, which can include journaling, being physically active and breathing exercises.
Journaling: Journaling is an exercise that can be used to manage stress. When anxiety arises take time to journal what you are feeling. The purpose of this is to clear your mind and relieve anxiety. Try to incorporate journaling into your wellness routines!
Get Active: Did you know that just 30 minutes of activity has been shown alleviate symptoms of anxiety. To incorporate mindfulness consider taking a walk outdoors, where you bring your attention to your surroundings. Notice the sounds, colors, scent etc. in your environment.
Breathing Exercises: Breathing exercises can be used to reset your mind. A simple breathing exercise: Inhale slowly through your nose and exhale slowly through your mouth. Repeat this exercise until you start to feel better. A benefit of this exercise is that it can be done anywhere!
May is national Mental Health Awareness Month. We want to bring our awareness to mental health and be informed of resources. There are various hotlines where agents are there to assist you in locating mental health resources.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration:
1 (800) 662-HELP (4357)
National Alliance on Mental Illness:
1 (800) 950-6264
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline:
1 (800) 273-8255
Speaking to your primary care physicians about your mental health concerns is also helpful as they can assist you with locating mental health professionals.
Lastly, Psychologytoday.com is also a resource that can be used to locate licensed mental health professionals in your area.