Helping You Through Covid-19: Dr. Patrice J. Holmes, Middlesex Health

Here is Renee's interview with Dr. Patrice J. Holmes, a Middlesex Health Psychiatrist.

She shares useful information for dealing with anxiety and stress during the COVID-19 crisis and more.

Listen below:

What are a few signs of anxiety/panic?

We are united across the nation by stress. This stress comes from the uncertainty and loss caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Stress is a normal, physiological response to threat in a situation. Stress is the natural response to a global infectious disease outbreak. We could think of anxiety as the emotional response to the stress. Stress and anxiety are understandably heightened across the nation as there is no clear answer as to when the pandemic or stressor will end

Common symptoms of anxiety include:

  • Fidgety, restless
  • Easily tired
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Difficulty completing everyday tasks and feeling discouraged by routine tasks
  • Feeling overwhelmed, easily tired
  • Feeling irritable or easily annoyed
  • Muscle tension, stomach upset
  • Sleep disturbance
  • avoiding things that produce anxiety

Common symptoms of panic include:

  • increase heart rate
  • hyperventilation
  • tingling sensation
  • fear that you are dying or having a heart attack
  • feeling of losing control
  • sweating
  • chest pain
  • dizziness
  • short-lived episodes
  • for at least one month
  • worry about having another episode

What are a few ways to help curb anxiety/panic during this pandemic?

The following strategies can help the general public and frontline workers:

  • Create a schedule and routine and try to stick to it as much as possible everyday
  • Regular meals, caring for your personal hygiene, staying hydrated
  • A bedtime routine that is relaxing can help with sleep as well as reduced screen time before bed
  • Reduce caffeine intake as this can lead to worsened anxiety
  • Exercise
  • Take breaks when working from home
  • Check-in with yourself throughout the day to monitor your stress levels
  • Learn to meditate with apps like headspace or insight timer
  • Go out in nature while maintaining social distancing
  • Find a coping role model. Is there someone you know who is coping well perhaps you can try some of what they are doing to help themselves through anxiety.
  • Empower yourself with reliable information and choose the safest actions for you and your community. The Center for Disease control, WHO and
  • Limit number of check-ins with news - 24-hour news cycle can increase anxiety according education released by the American Psychiatric Association.
  • Consider restricting social media to content creators that you find positive or inspiring

Advice for relaxing things to do while you are home?

  • Yoga, YouTube or online classes, your local studio might offer online classes
  • Walking, other forms of exercise
  • Stay in touch with loved ones
  • Crafting, coloring, knitting, cooking, baking
  • Reading, writing in a journal
  • Start a hobby, join an online book club
  • Meditation
  • Take breaks, if there are two adults in a household with children, the adults can share caregiving responsibilities and give each other breaks

Sponsored Content

Sponsored Content