There’s no doubt that being required to cope with the ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic was not anyone’s choice. You have undoubtedly spent the last several months wishing that this never happened, especially if anyone you care about became ill with or succumbed to the virus. Even without experiencing the health effects of the coronavirus , your life has changed in what seems to be an irreversible direction. Will you ever be able to hug the people you greet, shake their hands, or even be able to speak without the interference of a face mask? When can you return without worry to your favorite stores, restaurants, theaters, or sports arenas? Are you missing that long commute to work that you once found to be so miserable? When can you even get back to work? As you ask yourself these questions, you may also be pondering the ways you’ve already tried to cope with the many life changes the pandemic has necessitated. Think first about getting together with your family. … [Read more...] about 10 Ways This Pandemic Might Actually Have Cognitive Benefits
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Source: Wstockstudio/Adobe Stock The ongoing pandemic has been a source of enormous stress and anxiety for all of us. But anxiety was on the rise long before any of us had heard of COVID-19. Diagnoses like generalized anxiety disorder were increasingly common , especially among younger people, as were depression and suicide . The most recent poll by the American Psychological Association found the average person believes they experience an unhealthy level of stress. My own practice reflects these trends, as stress and anxiety are the leading issues for which people come to me for help. (For help with managing stress and anxiety, see this free guide.) What is behind these trends toward greater anxiety and stress? I recently spoke with psychologists Anthony Rao and Paul Napper, who explore these issues in their book, The Power of Agency . They noted that our lives have changed profoundly and our biology is struggling to keep up. “Humans haven’t evolved … [Read more...] about Why Am I Stressed and Anxious All the Time?
With public health authorities urging continued social distancing and holiday breaks here, screen media use is up and many parents worry about mental health effects on their children (and even on themselves). Hope is running high with vaccines on the horizon, but most of the country is still coping with modified operations and social distancing at a period of peak COVID caseloads that continue to rise. We have a ways to go. So I give an update on the screen media issue here in time for the rest of the holiday break. It remains true that excessive screen time can be harmful, especially for very young children, whom it keeps from other developmentally important activities: Face-to-face time with parents is particularly crucial for small children. However, for older children and teens, when pandemics are not at hand, screens can interfere with playing outside, studies, hobbies, time with peers, physical activity, and sleep. But concern has also historically been related to the … [Read more...] about Update on ADHD and Screen Media Use