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Coping with anxiety in uncertainty

To access the crisis hotline for anxiety, text CONNECT to 741741 and you will be connected to a trained counselor.
Photo by Chris Swann

During the COVID-19 pandemic, mental health and keeping a positive mindset has been important. According to helpguide.org, “for many people, the unknown of the Coronavirus right now has impacted their lives and they are uncertain when the virus will go away.”

Anxiety is one mental health issue, and it comes in many forms. Erin Young, counselor and co-owner of the Bridge Therapeutic Services in Tyler, explained the different signs related to anxiety. 

“Anxiety is the body’s stress response. People will feel it differently in the chest, get headaches or sick to their stomach and feel a physical response to a fearful thought or feeling they get,” Young said. 

As schools restart nationwide, students may be worrying about what the year will look like, whether they can see their friends or if they can participate in school activities. Teachers and staff also have their own worries and fears about starting school.  

For students coping with anxiety, Young said it’s important “to have positive thinking because there are a lot of negative thoughts. Also, there are negative conversations, fears and concerns we feel, so try to think in more positive ways like what is this positive thing about this school or person so we don’t feel so negative.” 

Young also provided suggestions for coping with anxiety. 

“Stop and take a pause to recognize what is making yourself anxious and then when you feel less overwhelmed give yourself permission to go back to what you were doing,” Young said. “Take care of yourself, sleep well, connect with good people and release your anxiety with movement.”  

Exercising can also help with anxiety as it affects the body and mind.  

Young recommended exercising and maintaining close personal relationships to better manage anxiety.  Young also suggested ways to channel anxiety into positive activities, such as writing, drawing or getting outside to experience nature.

Also, Brittany Gayetsky, director of clinical operations at Samaritan Counseling Center of East Texas, said meditation, prayer or muscle relaxation can help release tension.   

Latest comments
  • As someone who struggles with anxiety myself, I’m glad there are other students like you who are willing to speak out about it.

  • I feel like mental illnesses are so easy to succumb to, especially when you combine the stress of college and a global pandemic. It’s so nice to see recourse to help people suffering.

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