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  • PANDEMIC PANIC “Coping with Anxiety in Stressful Times”

    With schools closed, are the incessant demands of managing your kids’ days taking a toll? Are you afraid of catching the virus? Are you worried about finances? Are you obsessing about what’s going on in our world?

    We’re all somewhat on edge, but recent stressors have plunged many into significant mental health issues. If you are experiencing several of the symptoms listed below, you may have clinical anxiety.

    What are the Symptoms of Anxiety?

    · Constant, irrational worry or dread

    · Overwhelming fear which disrupts your daily activities and relationships

    · Tense muscles or muscles twitching

    · Trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or sleeping too much

    · Tired and lethargic

    · Trouble focusing on tasks

    · Obsessed with current events to the point that you can’t think about anything else

    · Nervous and uneasy

    · Anger over small things

    · Jumpy or trembling

    · Heart beating fast, or skipping a beat

    · Tightness in the chest or rapid breathing

    · Feeling lightheaded

    · Sweating, even when not hot or exercising

    · Digestive problems

    How Can I Cope?

    1. Be aware. What are your triggers for anxiety? What seems to help calm you down? Understanding yourself can help with applying healthy coping skills.

    2. Don’t feed anxiety. Avoid watching the news incessantly, negative “self-talk,” failing to talk things out with someone (or only talking about the worrisome things), or consuming too much coffee or high-caffeine drinks.

    3. Take a break from the media. If the headlines are putting you in a panic, turn off the news for several days along with social media that may be getting you worked up.

    4. Use positive self-talk. Are you dwelling in worry, negativity, and doubt? Switch to self-affirming, encouraging, and empowering inner dialogue. Replace anxiety with peace and calm confidence.

    If you are a believer, confess the promises of God over your life:

    · No weapon formed against me shall prevail. (Isaiah 54:17)

    · God has not given me a spirit of fear, but of love, power, and self-control. (2 Timothy 1:7)

    · I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13)

    5. Reduce avoidance behaviors. If you’re afraid of acquiring Covid-19, you might be obsessively wiping down everything in your house, washing your hands every fifteen minutes, or afraid to go outside. Did you know avoidance behaviors increase anxiety? And that anxiety makes us more prone to infection? Stay safe but use common sense and avoid obsessive behaviors. Don’t be afraid to take that walk in the sunshine! That will boost your serotonin and vitamin D levels, which empowers your immune system.

    6. Learn what coping skills work best for you. Examples of coping skills are physical exercise, relaxing activities like reading or working on crafts, or watching funny movies or sitcoms.

    7. Nurture yourself spiritually! For believers, faith is your greatest weapon against anxiety. Remember to read and meditate on scripture, pray, attend worship services, and fellowship with like-minded and encouraging friends.

    Will Counseling Help?

    If anxiety is overwhelming and interfering with your daily life, you may benefit from professional therapy. Our licensed therapists are here to guide you toward freedom from anxiety. Call (954-245-1999) or book your appointment through our website: