Delta Got You Depressed and Anxious? Five Tips to Manage COVID-19 Anxiety

Just when we thought the COVID-19 pandemic was behind us, the Delta variant has taken hold along with the return of mask mandates and familiar social restrictions. Is it any wonder people’s emotions are on edge?

“Feelings of fear, anxiety and even anger are normal,” said Amber Olson, LCSW, director of Behavioral Therapy Services at Memorial Behavioral Health. “But stress at any time can affect your well-being, and it’s important for you to take care of your mental health.”

Olson suggests five ways to manage anxiety during this time:

  • Take a break from social media and the news. If the 24/7 headlines cause you stress, delete apps, turn off your phone for a break or simply schedule specific times each day to check the news instead of allowing headlines to hijack your attention.
  • Pay attention to reliable sources. Read information about COVID-19 from reliable sources including World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, your local health department or the Memorial Health System COVID-19 information page.
  • Focus on what is in your control. You can’t solve the world’s problems, but you can control what’s happening in your life. Focus on what’s in your power to help you feel control in a difficult situation. Take care of your family and take steps to prevent the spread of the virus including vaccination, handwashing, social distancing and mask usage.
  • Practice self-care. Schedule enough sleep, engage in activities that make you feel mentally and physically healthy and eat a nutritious diet.
  • Ask for help. If you’re struggling, and your mental health is impacted by stress, seek help from others. A licensed mental health professional can help you to learn and develop coping mechanisms to cope with stress.

“If you need help, seek it out. You don’t have to manage on your own,” said Olson.

Need to talk? 

MBH offers an emotional support hotline, available at 217-588-5509, to provide support to individuals who are experiencing anxiety or stress, even if they are not MBH patients.

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