NIMH is researching why some children have extreme irritability in response to reasonable requests and life events.
Whether in-person or virtually, going back to school can be stressful for students, parents, and teachers—especially while navigating a pandemic. On August 24, 2021, NIMH conducted an Instagram event with Krystal Lewis, Ph.D., a licensed clinical psychologist at NIMH, who discussed causes or triggers of stress and coping techniques to help reduce anxiety and improve the transition back to school.
Anxiety is, unfortunately, a normal part of most people’s lives, especially around stressful events such as big work projects or the global pandemic. These simple tips can help you diminish feelings of anxiety until they are more manageable.
Take a Break
When you start to feel as if you’ve been given way too much to handle, step away from the situation for a few minutes to recenter yourself. If you feel as if you absolutely cannot afford to “waste” time on self-care, then that is when you need it the most.
Some distance alone may help you feel better about your situation. If that does not work, try other techniques to calm yourself, such as breathing exercises or writing down your feelings in a journal.
Rely on Your Support Network
Your anxiety may be convincing you that you are a burden on your loved ones. It is lying. Contacting a trusted friend or family member can be the lifeline that you need in a stressful situation. Talking it out or asking someone else for advice may feel like a weight off your shoulders.
Your support network may remind you of the love and care that you need to give to yourself. Give yourself the same understanding and support that your best friend or sibling would when they are talking to you. Let yourself take breaks and step back from some responsibilities if that is what you need.
Identify the Source of Your Anxiety
The best way to battle anxiety is to eliminate it. Take some time to reflect on what is causing you stress. Have you taken on too much responsibility at work or agreed to go to too many virtual happy hours? Say no to things that are causing you more distress than benefit. Setting boundaries is a great way to let go of excess stress.
Anxiety is a serious problem that does not always go away with some meditation. However, these simple tips can make stress and anxiety more manageable and improve your overall well-being.
On August 5, 2021, NIMH will host a webinar on navigating a neuroscience career for scientists of color with a rising star in neuroscience, Dr. Damien Fair. Dr. Fair is currently a founding co-director of the Masonic Institute for the Developing Brain and professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Minnesota Medical School.