Ways to cope with anxiety during tough times

Maya Brisan, Staff Writer

There are so many things going on around us – in school, at home and out in the world – that are bound to cause us some anxiety. And while you cannot always get rid of anxiety, there are so many ways to cope with anxiety or even reduce it.

The threat of a school shooting is something that every student is aware of in the back of their minds; we watch the news and hear about how they happen. Recently, there has been heightened anxiety around this fear, and it can be detrimental to a student’s ability to concentrate and learn in class. One way to feel better while in class is to focus on breathing, and while that may be cliché it can actually work to ground yourself. Talking to friends or trusted adults can also help you feel better.

If you begin to feel stressed about this topic while at home, there are other ways to cope with the anxiety. If you have a pet, just talk to them about something completely random to help get your mind off of your anxiety. Another idea is researching ways to make sure you stay alert and aware while at school so you stay safe, then you can logically tell yourself that you don’t actually need to worry. If anxiety persists, blast music, watch T.V. read a book, or consider therapy.

Something else that people worry about is the rise in COVID cases. This can seem even more overbearing because our entire lives have become a steady stream of COVID this, COVID that. Not only do we want to stay safe, but we want our loved ones to be safe as well. One way to make sure that you feel less anxious about COVID at school is to wear your mask properly; listen to guides about which masks filter the best, and double-masking can help you feel more in control.

When you’re at home and feel anxious about COVID, take a moment to breathe and assess how you feel. If you have no symptoms, you can tell yourself that there is no reason to be anxious about whether or not you got COVID. Keep in mind that someone can still have COVID and be asymptomatic, but if you know you did not interact with anyone who had COVID, reassure yourself that you shouldn’t stress 24/7 about having COVID and infecting your family while you interact with them at home.

These tips may not work for everyone, and some may work better at home rather than at school or vice versa. In general, there are ways to make sure you are not plagued constantly by the anxiety-inducing events that are happening around us.