Stalled production, massive layoffs, looming elections, and the barrage of inconsistent information about the Covid-19 pandemic has left many American’s with the anxiety of waiting for the next shoe to drop. Pamela Bridgeman, LCSW, MAC, CCTP, and CEO of A Healing Journey Counseling and Consultation, L.L.C., talks about anxiety, what it looks like, and how to manage it.
“It may sound careless- but in truth- taking on the attitude ‘it is what it is,’ can help individuals from becoming too swept up in the current state of things. There is a lot happening right now that is out of our immediate control. Fretting and being anxious will not change the situation.” says Bridgeman. Many families are feeling pushed to the breaking point due to unemployment, lost health care coverage, schooling uncertainties, health concerns, etc. Change is notorious for fueling anxiety, but the aforementioned list is, for some, too much to bear; triggering acute anxiety.
Anxiety can rear its ugly head in many ways. Bridgeman explains, “While depression often triggers behaviors of excessive sleeping and over-eating, anxiety can bring upon irritability, nervous pacing, a feeling of bouncing off the walls, or upset stomach. To identify whether you are dealing with classic anxiety ask yourself if you experience hot flashes, wobbly legs, difficulty resting, or a general sense of waiting for the next shoe to drop.”
There are a few very simple tricks to help alleviate feelings of helplessness and anxiety. “ First of all you need to breathe.” recommends Bridgeman. “Breathe and take care of yourself. Drink plenty of water and get some exercise. This will help your body release the built up stress. Of course, don’t allow yourself to indulge in intrusive racing thoughts. If you find yourself going down that rabbit hole of worrying and fretting, add meditation and deep breathing to your daily routines.”
While so much remains hanging in the balance, it is important for everyone to remain as healthy as possible. During a pandemic, it is equally important to take care of your mental health as well as your physical well-being. Stay posted for more helpful guidance from Pamela Bridgeman.