As coronavirus and the encouragement for social isolation continue, stress is taking its toll with job-loss, loneliness and worry are surging. As reported in in a post in the Wall Street Journal on May 25, 2020, Andrea Peterson reports that more are turning to medications; like anti-anxiety anti-depressant medications and sleep aids which have risen during the pandemic.
Tina Fey’s wisdom on the impact from stress was highlighted in her book Bossypants,
“I was a little excited but mostly blorft. "Blorft" is an adjective I just made up that means 'Completely overwhelmed but proceeding as if everything is fine and reacting to the stress with the torpor of a possum.' I have been blorft every day for the past seven years.”
Peterson, continues, prescriptions for anti-anxiety medications, like Klonopin and Ativan, rose 10.2% in March 2020 and prescriptions for antidepressants, like Prozac and Lexapro, rose 9.2% in the same period.
Circumstances including health concerns, social isolation, childcare, at home schooling and job losses are eroding the sense of calm and taking a toll on people’s well-being. In fact, the American Psychological Association shared that was parents with children under 18, 46% rated their average stress level related to the pandemic as 8, 9 or 10 on a 10-point scale, according to a survey the released May 21.
As reported in the Washington Post on May 26, 2020, the Census bureau recently released a study suggesting 1/3 of all Americans now show signs of anxiety depression or both. Most would think the most of those experiencing these symptoms of fear would be the most at risk, those over the age of 80. Not true, this study found that younger people, specifically younger Americans under the age of 30, are more upset and challenged by the Coronavirus Anxiety and Depression.
What can we do, you and me, to address the anxiety and depression and the fears that seem to be our new normal.
Here’s some thoughts
ONE - pay attention to what you are listening to ... turn off the news and turn on your favorite Pandora playlist. If you need an example, I listen to a soft jazz and a reggae playlist. Both help me to exhale and that feels much better than the churn of my stomach after a daily dose of the news.
TWO - smile ... yes smile. My kundalini teacher Jae Dev Sing suggests when our body is engaged our mind will follow. So, take some time each day to smile ... especially with those you love and care for, be it on a phone call or in person, even if you are socially distanced.
Until then, I am Doc Frank your friendly psychologist.
Frank Wood, PHD
Dr. Frank Wood is a Licensed Psychologist and the creator of Thriving with Stress, an innovative training program designed to leverage stress – in the workplace, in relationships and with life.
As a speaker, author and trainer on stress, Dr. Frank has applied all of his expertise and experience in developing The Thriving with Stress program; a program that clients refer to as a "game changer" and a “program that is turning the tables on stress.”