Stress and Anxiety in Uncertain Times

The past weeks have been challenging for everyone, to say the least. With so much uncertainty on a global scale, it’s no wonder people are experiencing a heightened sense of stress and anxiety. In all honesty, I almost delayed the launch of the Sage Aging podcast and blog because of all the chaos. In the end I decided the strange time we find ourselves in was precisely the reason we needed to get started right away. We reached out to Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Aaron Landry, to get his advice about coping with stress and anxiety in uncertain times. While we chose this topic in direct response to Covid -19, the solutions he offers are applicable in any situation.

Coping Strategies

Aaron says, “We have a tendency to have this belief that we really like change. We like things to be fast paced and we like things to be exciting. But for most of us change is actually a really scary thing and we like our routines…when those routines get disrupted, it can feel very overwhelming for people. And this pandemic certainly falls into the category of something we’re seeing that has disrupted our everyday routines and maybe feels a little scary, a little overwhelming for some people.”

To take control of the overwhelming feelings, Aaron suggests the following:

  • Take a step back from the situation and evaluate the facts
  • Respond based on facts, not emotions
  • Limit your exposure to the media – stay informed, but don’t watch/surf all day
  • Stick to normal routines as much as possible
  • Take care of your physical health
  • Pray, meditate or use guided imagery
  • Use journaling

Signs of stress

Sometimes stress can manifest in physical ways and most people are not aware that it is happening. Taking a self- inventory from time to time is important. If you are aware, you can usually make the necessary changes to alleviate the problem.

Stress may present in the following ways:

  • Difficulty sleeping
  • On edge
  • Short tempered
  • High level of frustration
  • Significant increase or decrease in appetite

However, “if you find yourself kind of withdrawing or just wanting to sleep all the time, those would probably be indicators that you need a little bit of support. The good news is we actually have therapy that are available through online chat rooms or online platforms” in the event you can’t see your own doctor right away.

Stress and anxiety are not things that we can completely avoid, but we are in control of the way we respond. “We have control over our emotions, our emotions don’t have control over us.”

Links We Mentioned

Related Content

Understanding Social Isolation

Liz Craven
Author: Liz Craven

Liz Craven, along with her husband Wes, owns Pro-Ad Media, publisher of Sage Aging ElderCare Guide, serving the local community for over 29 years. Liz lives in Lakeland and is very active in the local community, specifically in the area of aging. Liz serves on a number of local boards and committees including the Lakeland Vision and Age Friendly Lakeland.