It’s no surprise that anxiety and depression rates are running high right now for a lot of people. There’s a great deal of uncertainty, possibly fear, disappointment, perhaps even grieving for the loss of normal in your life. Please know, that however you’re feeling is okay. I’m not sure if there is such a thing as feeling normal in abnormal times. It’s a universal experience to feel anxious and/or depressed, meaning we all feel it sometimes.
Common signs of anxiety include:
-feeling nervous, restless, tense
-feelings of impending danger, panic, or dread
-rapid heart rate, increased breathing
-difficulty focusing or thinking clearly
about anything other than what you are worrying about
Here are some common signs of depression:
-feeling hopeless or helpless about things improving
-loss of interest in daily activities
-sleep changes (either too much or too little)
-loss of energy
Here are some activities to try when you’re feeling down:
-Nurture Yourself (watch a good movie, listen/sing your favorite songs, read a book or magazine that interests you)
-Move- this could be an indoor activity like rearranging your room, or go outdoors, take a walk, or ride your bike
-Be Social- call a friend. FaceTime, Google Hangouts, and Houseparty are great options to see people you are missing. Write a letter to someone who makes you happy (maybe a friend, a family member, a teacher, a famous person)
-Get Creative- paint or draw, cook a new dish, learn a new hobby (youtube has thousands of instructional videos)
-Start a list of gratitudes- try to come up with one new thing each day that you’re thankful for.
These are challenging times and we can all benefit from extra support. It’s okay to reach out for additional help. I, along with the other counselors and FRYSC staff of Somerset Independent, have great relationships with local mental health agencies. We work with Phoenix, Wellsprings, Intrust, Somerset Mental Health, and Quest, just to name a few. Our local mental health agencies are using telehealth services and accept most insurances. We will be happy to refer students and families for counseling services. Parents can also contact these agencies.