Stress and anxiety are terms we hear a lot in our daily lives, especially while living through such extreme circumstances, like the current pandemic, but how often do we see these topics broken down in a helpful way? In a 30-minute talk presented by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), Dr. Krystal Lewis, a licensed clinical psychologist, explains where stress and anxiety come from and some coping strategies.
Over the last two semesters, I have had to sacrifice a lot of things due to COVID and it was really hard. I spent a lot of time feeling bitter and sorry for myself. I backslid into old habits of sleeping all day and staying up all night, of snapping at people when they spoke to me, and worst of all, not feeling much of anything.
Over the past few months, the numerous life changes that have happened to me (moving across the country back home, losing not one but two different jobs, and starting a new position thousands of miles away from the rest of my team) has been incredibly challenging. I thought I had it under control – I had a team of doctors working with me to get a better plan for managing my anxiety and depression. Unfortunately, a few slight changes to my health insurance plan and I’m back to the starting place where I was a few months back prior to all of these crazy events.
This holiday season has already been one like no other. With family not allowed to leave their state and having older grandparents/family members who are more vulnerable, I sometimes get a rush of sadness that I will not be able to spend the holidays with all my family.
The holiday season this year looks very different for everyone, and in particular there may be people like myself dealing with the first holiday season without a loved one. In February, my grandpa passed away. With the pandemic hitting shortly after, I have struggled to come to terms with the reality of it and believe at times I haven’t been able to fully grieve having not spent any real time with my grandma or spent time in their home without my grandpa there.
I’m not sure if it is just me, but NOTHING can ruin my mood around the holidays; in particular Christmas, and really the entire month of December, if I can be honest. I am very into keeping traditions, having a lot on my calendar during the holiday season that I do year-to-year: dinner with family, Christmas caroling with neighbors, Christmas card photos, decorate and make cookies to gift out, the whole nine yards.
‘Tis the season for families to come together and for more love than usual to spread across the world… or, at least that’s what’s supposed to happen. This year looks different. In 2020, we can’t see our friends and family in person, and for those of us whose love language is either quality time or physical touch, it’s very difficult to be able to feel loved.