How to deal with anxiety and depression during pandemic and protests

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RIO GRANDE VALLEY, Texas – Whether you are watching TV, scrolling through social media or reading the newspaper, headlines of the coronavirus pandemic and protests of George Floyd can feel overwhelming.

“That has increased anxiety for everyone, actually, and people who already have struggles with anxiety they’re starting to experience more of that,” said Dr. Teresa Chapa-Cantu, a licensed psychologist.

She is a licensed psychologist at Resiliency Psychological Center and said she is helping her clients get through a difficult time.

“We can have symptoms of trauma and fear related to the changes and the things that we’re seeing in the news. We can also feel helpless and hopeless like we don’t have control over these things. We can feel confused, angry,” she said.

Those are the symptoms to look out for, if you are experiencing those emotions Dr. Chapa-Cantu said gaining control of one aspect in your life helps.

“Setting a schedule for ourselves helps us feel a sense of normality. We can do these activities alone or we can do them with others,” she said.

Some places, including schools and businesses, are still closed. Making it harder to find another outlet to escape from social media.

“Exercise is another great coping technique. It decreases your anxiety, it decreases any sadness or feelings of depression and it improves our mood and also our physical health,” she said.

If you still find yourself struggling mentally. It is time to seek professional help.

If you are dealing with suicidal thoughts the 24-hour national hotline is 800-273-8255

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