“Sometimes when you are in a dark place you think you have been buried, but actually you have been planted.” ~ author Christine Caine
Trying to navigate difficult times like these can be taxing. Anxiety and symptoms of depression are on the rise (and no wonder).
This particular era has made almost everyone deal with some form of mental health challenge: joblessness, possible homelessness, loss of a loved one, finances, and more. No surprise that one is liable to be stressed. Nevertheless, there is help available. Let’s take a look at some of the signs. If you’re easily agitated, feeling overwhelmed, have trouble relaxing or concentrating, problems sleeping, tense muscles, irrational fears, or worry excessively, you may be suffering from anxiety, thus some stress management is in order.
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If you experience chest pains, especially with shortness of breath (with pain radiating down your shoulders and arm), experience sweating, nausea or dizziness then you may want to seek immediate medical attention as these could be warning signs of a heart attack.
Outside of the serious medical conditions mentioned above, here are some ways to get a handle on your particular mental health issues.
Reboot, Recharge and Recover
Stress unchecked can lead to shifts in behavior, mood, physical health ailments such as high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, and heart disease.
Simple things like walking does both a body and mind good. Take time to escape and enjoy a nice walk outside. Take deep breaths. Find something to make you laugh and release healing endorphins. Remind yourself of good outcomes from the past. Remember, “trouble don’t last always.” Life hands out tests for all of us to go through — and you never know what’s on the other side of “through.”
Go ahead and distract your mind (and not with “doom-scrolling” on social media). Read a book. Pick up a hobby. Do something to help someone else and watch that blessing come right back to you. Talk your feelings out to someone you trust. Don’t be hard on yourself. Life happens and coping skills will vary from day to day.
Help at Your Fingertips
Talkspace offers online therapy via text message, phone calls, or video calls and boasts the availability of thousands of licensed therapists to speak with. Headspace is offering a free, one-year subscription to their meditation app for all unemployed people in the United States.
Organizations like the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and Mental Health America offer free mental health resources available year-round. Ok2Talk is a community that supports and allows young people or parents of children to share personal stories of struggles, tragedy, hope, and recovery. Educators over at Mindful Schools are helping to keep kids in a positive frame of mind with 10 free online classes focusing on thoughts, emotions, activities, and more.
Everyone has stressful moments and managing them is not always easy (especially right now). If you feel the anxiety and depression are too much to handle, it’s perfectly okay to call your doctor and ask for help. Your mental health and wellbeing are worth the attention.
[If you are feeling suicidal, thinking of hurting yourself, or know someone who is, contact your primary care provider, a mental health professional or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) or use its webchat at suicidepreventionlifeline.org/chat.]