Even for people who don't normally struggle with anxiety, these are anxiety-inducing times. As kids return to school and adults return to the office, the Covid-19 pandemic continues to affect our daily lives. Meanwhile, the news is full of stories about the war in Afghanistan, extreme weather events, and the 20th anniversary of the September 11th attacks.
Scrolling through social media brings up countless posts about stress and struggles. If you or a loved one is coping with a new diagnosis or a chronic health condition, that is yet another source of anxiety.
Common symptoms of anxiety include feeling restless or irritable, being easily fatigued, having trouble concentrating, and difficulty falling or staying asleep.
Strategies and Resources for Managing Anxiety
- Acknowledge what you're experiencing, so that you can take steps to alleviate it. Ignoring anxiety won’t make it go away.
- If your anxiety is related to returning to the office, this New York Times article has some good suggestions, such as breathing exercises you can do at your desk and asking for accommodations to ease the transition.
- If you feel anxious about the state of the world, make a conscious effort to limit your exposure to the news and avoid doom-scrolling on social media.
- If your teenage children are experiencing anxiety, take it seriously and listen with empathy. This Johns Hopkins article offers more guidance.
- If younger children are struggling with anxiety, make sure they have a structured daily routine that includes plenty of physical activity. Find more tips here.
- If you or a family member are experiencing anxiety around medical treatment or follow-up scans (also known as "scanxiety"), this article from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center offers relaxation and distraction techniques.
- No matter what you or your loved ones are anxious about, it may be helpful to seek mental health treatment.
If you need help accessing great mental health care, reach out to an expert health advisor for support throughout the process.