Worried woman with face mask hanging from hands reflecting on pandemic

How the Pandemic Makes Us More Anxious & What You Can Do About It

Pandemics are a mixing pot of social, societal, personal stressors. Fear levels are bound to go up as it’s natural to worry about anything from falling ill to struggling for basic needs. Aside from the threat of disease, pandemics can easily interrupt the complex supply chains supporting large populations in urban centers like Calgary. Psychologists are here to help patients who think that these pressures might be getting to them.

The Pandemic’s Psychological Pressures

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a long ordeal, uprooting the psychological environment most Calgarians enjoyed pre-pandemic. While we all wish things could go back to normal, a significant part of the balancing act that is psychological health involves learning to live with the pandemic’s external pressures. 

A significant part of the damage the pandemic has caused us is rooted in fixation. Generalized Anxiety Disorder strongly correlates with a fixation on the possible outcomes of the pandemic, especially in those younger than 35 years of age. Without meaning to oversimplify things, it’s like the old adage, the thing to fear is fear itself; the thing to worry about is worry itself. But what can you do about it? Because worry won’t help you.

Profession and work environment can also significantly influence your anxiety levels. For front-line workers, especially healthcare workers, the pressure to work longer hours with less time off, at greater than average risk of contracting disease, also drives higher anxiety levels.

How You Can Benefit from Psychologists’ Assessments

An unrecognizable mid adult woman listens as the cheerful mature adult male counselor gestures and speaks

The biopsychosocial model of psychology drives and informs Balance Psychology & Brain Health Center. To improve our brain health, we need to take a holistic approach to the psyche, including biological, psychological, and socio-environmental issues.

When we conduct a psychological assessment, or cognitive assessment, we can identify factors within your control and factors well outside of your control. Doing so illuminates what action plan items can help—and what maladapted coping mechanisms within yourself you might’ve ignored before the pandemic. Optimizing yourself can mitigate the pandemic’s external influence, which is well within your control.

As the pandemic rages, the ability to conduct psychological care can be impacted by emergency legislation barring people from businesses deemed non-essential. In addition, there could be some risk gathering at places of business, even a psychology practice. Patients looking for help with pandemic anxiety can also consider virtual psychological care to get help when they need it, no matter where we are with lockdowns or transmission risk. There’s a lot you can do to get away from anxiety, even in the middle or end of a pandemic!

Balance Psychology & Brain Health can help you find balance in your life by maximizing functioning and minimizing disability through holistic, evidence-based, and client-centred care. Calgary cognitive psychologists and neuropsychologists Calgary offer cognitive assessments, behavioural therapy, cognitive behavioural therapy in Calgary, and insomnia therapy in Calgary. By utilizing a biopsychosocial model, we specialize in assessing, preventing, and treating factors that can negatively affect your brain health. This approach includes keeping in mind the biological (e.g., genetics, neurochemistry, medical conditions), psychological (e.g., mood, personality, coping skills), and socio-environmental factors (e.g., culture, social support, education) that individually and collectively impact our well-being. Call (403) 764-0771 today to book at our neuropsychology clinic, chronic pain clinic Calgary or MCI clinic Calgary.

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