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)

Wearables and Health Care

Recently, fitness trackers and other wearables have gained more popularity as health monitors. And this is expected to continue.

As Business Insider Intelligence reports:

“The health-care industry is undergoing a transformation due to pressure from ballooning healthcare costs, a rising burden of chronic disease, and shifting consumer expectations. Thus, wearables — including smartwatches, fitness trackers, and other connected devices — play a key role in this transformation.”

“U.S. consumer use of wearables for health purposes jumped from 9% in 2014 to 33% in 2018, according to Accenture. And penetration should continue to climb. With more than 80% of consumers willing to wear tech that measures health data. The growing adoption of wearables, and the breadth of health functions they offer, will capture a fuller picture of consumer health and behavior. Thus enabling health-care organizations to differentiate from the competition, drive value, and engage consumers.”

“In this new report, Business Insider Intelligence details the current and future market landscape of wearables in the U.S. health-care sector. We explore key drivers behind wearable usage by insurers, health-care providers, and employers. And the opportunities wearables afford to each of these stakeholders.”

“Consumers are becoming increasingly comfortable sharing the health data captured in these devices with their doctors, employers, and insurers. Such data offer opportunities to improve outcomes, reduce health-care costs, and engage customers. Providers can use wearables to improve chronic disease management, lessen the burden of a burgeoning staff shortage, and navigate a changing reimbursement model. Employers can combine wearables with cash incentives to lower insurance costs and improve employee productivity.”

 

Would You Buy Your Prescriptions at Amazon?

Until now drugstore chains, independent pharmacies, mail-order delivery from prescription suppliers, and in-store pharmacies in retail stores have been the major ways that we buy prescription drugs.

Now, Amazon intends to change this — as it has so many other business segments. So, would you buy your prescriptions at Amazon?

According to Business Insider Intelligence:

“More than half of U.S. consumers say they would ditch their current pharmacy for Amazon. And Amazon’s $1 billion deal to acquire online pharmacy startup PillPack is bad news for CVS, Rite Aid, Walgreens, and other pharmacies. The majority of respondents (57%) in an exclusive Business Insider Intelligence survey said they would use a pharmacy service offered by Amazon over their current pharmacy.”

“Amazon’s strengths are price, product selection, and delivery speed — all of which could be applied to retail pharmaceuticals. While it’s unclear how Amazon aims to use PillPack, we think consumers anticipate lower prices and convenience.” 

“Amazon still has a number of hurdles to overcome before offering a full-fledged pharmacy service. For instance, Amazon could have trouble forging relationships with pharmacy benefits managers who could see Amazon’s entry into the pharmaceutical market as a direct threat.”

Would You Buy Your Prescriptions at Amazon?