LifeWays Blog

Recognizing and Coping with Anxiety

Recognizing and Coping with Anxiety Jessica Bonardelli, LLMSW, Crisis Clinician at LifeWays Community Mental Health

April 7, 2020

Many people have anxiety, but some people have it more often or more intensely than others. With COVID-19 and all the changes in society right now, it can cause more anxiety, about health, staying home, and just in general. Anxiety can manifest in a variety of ways.  

Here are some ways that people may experience anxiety: 

  • Feeling nervous or restless 

  • Experiencing irritability 

  • Feeling like something bad is going to happen 

  • Feeling panicked 

  • Rapid heartbeat 

  • Breathing faster than normal 

  • Sweating 

  • Shaking 

  • Muscle tension 

  • Feeling more tired or weak than usual 

  • Having trouble focusing - especially trouble focusing on anything other than what is causing anxiety 

  • Trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or having nightmares 

  • Stomach aches or other stomach problems 

  • Not being able to control worrisome thoughts 

  • Trying to avoid things that cause anxiety 


If you are experiencing these symptoms, there are some ways to be able to cope with your symptoms or to try to feel better overall:  

  • Breathe, meditate, or use grounding exercises 
    Taking time to do some deep breathing, or calming exercises can be very helpful when you are experiencing anxiety. There are some apps available for your phone that you may find helpful for relaxation like 10% happier, Calm, and Headspace. Headspace is even offering free meditations and exercises during the COVID-19 crisis. 

  • Taking breaks from the news and social media 
    News and Social Media can become overwhelming as it can be difficult to continue to hear about the virus and the pandemic.  

  • Continue to care for yourself physically as well as you can 
    This includes trying to exercise and sleep regularly, eating healthy, and avoiding alcohol, caffeine, and drugs.  

  • Focus on others  
    Reach out to family, friends, and other important people in your life. Keep in contact with others, social distancing does not have to mean social isolating! 

  • Take time to do activities that you enjoy 
    This includes hobbies, solo activities, spending time with family, and whatever else you find enjoyable and that will help keep you healthy! 


How can LifeWays be helpful during this time?  

If you are having increased symptoms of anxiety and need additional support, LifeWays has a 24/7 Crisis Line that can be reached at 1-800-284-8288. 

Many other services continue to operate and full details can be found on the LifeWays website click here for a full list of the available service at LifeWays during this time. 


Resources and other helpful websites 

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