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Overcoming COVID-19 Anxiety May Require Professional Help

Anxiety, a feeling of uneasiness or nervousness, is something most of us experience at some point in our lives. Usually, it is a perfectly normal response in times of uncertainty, change or challenging life situations.

For many of us, the anxiety we feel about COVID-19 comes and goes, but for others anxiety has become their constant companion. Among these people, for some their feelings of anxiety never increase but are continuous and persistent, leaving them emotionally exhausted. Others experience an increase in symptoms, experiencing anxiety as fear, dread and even panic.

Many in both categories lack a frame of reference to understand what is happening to them. As a result, they may go undiagnosed and consequently not seek the professional help they need.

The source of the anxiety is not complicated. There is first and foremost the legitimate concern that we or our loved ones will contract the virus. Then there is the unease we feel when, just as we see infection rates dropping and think we’ve turned the corner, we experience an uptick in infections. Some are experiencing economic challenges and others are concerned about returning to work. Finally, there is the continued instability in family routines as children continue with virtual schooling and elderly parents continue to be isolated from their children and grandchildren.

It is important for all of us to take care of ourselves and effectively manage our anxiety so we can reduce the impact it has on our day-to-day life.

Thankfully, there are some simple solutions that will help reduce anxiety for most of us:

First, stay connected with the people in your life, even if you can only do so by phone, social media or video chatting. Second, find someone with whom to share your concerns.

Third, eat healthy meals, get plenty of sleep and exercise regularly, even if it is only a half-hour walk outside each day. Most people don’t realize how effective this can be at lifting our mood.

Fourth, continue to do the things you enjoy. If current COVID-19 guidelines prevent this, make an active effort to find new interests you can enjoy within the current guidelines.

Finally, never hesitate to contact a mental health professional. If uncertain how to get the help you need, contact your local public community mental health organization.

Together, we can help one another overcome our anxiety until life gets back to normal.

Excerpted from “Your mental health is important: Overcoming COVID-19 anxiety may require professional help” by Debra Johnson is executive director of St. Clair County Community Mental Health in Michigan. For additional details, read the full article in the Times Herald.

Source: Time Herald | Your mental health is important: Overcoming COVID-19 anxiety may require professional help, https://www.thetimesherald.com/story/opinion/columnists/2021/05/26/taking-steps-reduce-covid-19-anxiety/5070839001 | copyright 2021 www.thetimesherald.com

A screening can help you determine if you or someone you care about should contact a mental health professional. Care Managers can arrange a free 30-minute Care Consultation so you can explore options with an expert. Call or email our Care Managers at 650.688.3625 or careteam@chconline.org to set up an initial Consultation appointment.

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