Handling Anxiety in Difficult Times

Information about anxiety and loneliness. With tips.

Recently, we published three articles on COVID-19 (the coronavirus). Today, we conclude our series with a look at handling anxiety in difficult times. Tomorrow, we return to our regular topics.

Please look at this post for links to important sites on COVID-19. About the Coronavirus.

Author’s comment: Just a few days ago, my 37-year-old daughter asked me if I had ever seen anything like this pandemic in my lifetime. My response was an emphatic NO!!  This is  the most widespread and anxiety-provoking health crisis that I have ever seen.  Most of us could never imagine a worldwide crisis that has put many of us in stay-at-home status. And threatens the world’s economies.

Observations About Handling Anxiety in Difficult Times

As a high-risk person, I know from my own situation how anxiety-provoking this pandemic can be. Especially now that millions of us are in isolation — either totally alone or staying with a limited number of family members. And  with little outside contact, given all of the business, school, entertainment venue, and other shutdowns.  Unfortunately, this looks like our living arrangements for a while.

For information on anxiety and loneliness during these stressful times, we turn to Business Insider and Futurity.

Insights from Business Insider (BI)

BI published an article titled How Increased Social Distancing for the Coronavirus Could spur a Loneliness Epidemic.” Here are a few highlights:

“While the implementation of social distancing — avoiding large gatherings and maintaining a distance from others — is crucial to preventing the coronavirus pandemic from intensifying, the practice could also cause a ‘social recession,’ or a collapse in social contact that especially affects populations who are most susceptible to loneliness and isolation, like the elderly, according to Vox.”

“And loneliness has proven to exacerbate health complications among the elderly: The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine recently released a report suggesting seniors who experience social isolation or loneliness may face a higher risk of conditions including heart disease, depression, and mortality.”

Handling Anxiety in Difficult Times
Tips For Handling Loneliness from Futurity

Elissa Kozlov, a licensed clinical psychologist and instructor at Rutgers University, discusses strategies for taking care of your mental health while staying at home (at Futurity.org):

“Use technology! For example, schedule regular video chat and phone dates with friends and family. Get creative. Watch movies, play online games,  or participate in virtual book clubs.”

“Reach out to friends and relatives who are especially at risk during this time. Call older adults and people with chronic health conditions to give them meaningful social contact during these trying times.”

“A good strategy is distraction. If you find yourself thinking continuously about risk of illness, try to distract yourself by getting involved in an engaging activity. Or by picking up the phone to talk with a friend. Take advantage of nice weather and go for a walk in an open space. Get outside as much as possible if it’s safe to do so.”

“You can also try mindfulness meditation. There are several excellent mobile apps that can teach you how to practice meditation, such as the free app Mindfulness Coach, which was developed by a team of psychologists at the Veterans Affairs National Center for PTSD research. It walks users through the basics of mindfulness meditation.”

“If you have trouble sleeping, check out the Veterans Affairs’ app CBT-I Coach (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia), which takes you through different strategies to help quiet your mind at night. If you find that anxiety or insomnia interferes with your ability to function during the day, seek professional help to reduce the impact of anxiety.”

Click the image to read more.

Handling Anxiety in Difficult Times
(Credit: Getty Images)

All Not Rosy on World Cancer Day

YOUR support is needed. Please help!

Tuesday February 4, 2020 was World Cancer Day. While some progress has been made over the years, a lot more needs to be done. YOU can help by donating to a cancer research program of your choice.. Thanks.

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As Felix Richter reports for Statista:

“Honoring the 20th anniversary of World Cancer Day, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) as part of the WHO released two coordinated reports highlighting the current state of the world’s fight against the disease. While the WHO’s Report on Cancer aims to ‘set the global agenda on cancer, mobilize stakeholders and help countries set priorities for investing in cancer control,’ the IARC’s World Cancer Report ‘focuses on prevention and offers the most comprehensive overview of relevant research available to date.’”

“The latter report highlights that, despite steady progress in cancer prevention and treatment, the global cancer burden is still increasing as the number of new cases is expected to grow by 50 percent between 2018 and 2040. As the following chart illustrates, the IARC recognized 10.1 million new cancer cases in 2000, 18.1 million in 2018, and is expecting 27 million new cases per year by 2040. According to the report, cancer is the first or second leading cause of premature mortality (i.e. deaths at ages 30-69 years) in more than 90 countries worldwide, killing 9.6 million people in 2018 alone.”

“Further highlighting the relevance of cancer as an issue concerning all of us, the IARC cites estimates from 2018, stating that 1 in 8 men and 1 in 10 women are likely to develop the disease during their lifetime. Aside from the millions of lives lost prematurely each year, cancer also bears a huge economic burden. According to WHO estimates from 2017, global cancer care costs are piling up to more than $1 trillion annually.”

PLEASE DONATE! Click here to contribute to the American Cancer Society.

All Not Rosy on World Cancer Day

All Not Rosy on World Cancer Day

 

My Latest Adventures — Part Two

Hail to the caregivers. 🙂

On Tuesday, we presented part one. Today, we offer my latest adventures — part two. It is dedicated to my wife Linda, the LOML (love of my life).

Here we are together, as highlighted from my Facebook page.

My Latest Adventures — Part Two

Linda as Caregiver

Throughout my journey from pancreatic cancer patient until the present, Linda has been GREAT. Both physically and emotionally. Hail to the caregivers, who are often underappreciated. People always ask how the patient is doing, but fewer show concern for the caregiver. But I do, I appreciate Linda and all she does; and I realize the strain my condition places one her. 

For my latest adventures — involving knee replacement surgery, these are just some of the activities which Linda has done:

    • Drove me everywhere we needed to go. That included multiple trips to the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan, which is 50 miles from our home.
    • Stayed in a hotel by herself for the days I was in the hospital after the surgery. This meant using Uber to get around.
    • Shopping and lifting groceries, cat litter, and other heavy items that I could not help with post surgery.
    • Going up and downstairs at our home multiple times daily to help me after I was discharged from the hospital. 
    • Worrying about me going up and downstairs, being overly tired, etc.
    • And MUCH more.

Linda, you are appreciated.