The current COVID-19 pandemic has been tough or many people around the world, in various aspects. More attention has been given to the mental health issues that have had an effect on people. Depression and anxiety have always existed before the pandemic- symptoms of anxiety and depression have intensified for many individuals. Signs of anxiety can appear as racing thoughts, feeling as though something bad is going to happen, losing control, having trouble concentrating, feeling scared, having panic attacks, and the list goes on. Depression shows up in different ways as well: sadness, low motivation, feeling tired, change in sleep patterns and more. Depression can also look like one having suicidal thoughts; those who have suicidal thoughts should seek attention immediately (call 911) and there are also crisis hotlines available. It is important that everyone suffering with anxiety, depression or any other mental health conditions have a safe place to be heard and receive treatment and support.

Keep safe company of loved ones and take a break to enjoy nature if you feel lonely.

If you are anyone you know is suicidal or in a mental health crisis, call 911. Some additional resources include:

1-800-273-8255 for 24/7 National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Crisis Textline: 741 741 for 24/7 crisis counseling

Anxiety is something that we all face at times. We are all human systems that live in an environment where change is constant. While existing in a world that is unpredictable, we often will experience stress. Stress can happen in both good and bad times. We have the ability to evaluate stress and give it meaning. We can decide if stress will win or lose. There's a saying that goes, Stress is 10% and 90% is our response to stress. Doesn't that change your perspective? What an amazing feeling it is to know that we don't have to surrender to the anxieties of this world. Instead, we have the opportunity to re-write our story and create a new narrative. Consider opening your mind to the good that is happening in your life and not focus on the negative. It takes practice..and you'll get there.

I'm with you.

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." John 14:27