What’s done is done. We have a new President. But learning to cope with it may be easier said than done.
“I see an underlying anxiety with clients, families, even providers at the clinic since the election,” says Anna Sihon, Licensed Clinical Social Worker for Mental Health Center of Denver and Clinica Tepeyac. “There’s definitely an uptick in persons experiencing anxiety pointing directly to the election.”
Sihon says a lot of it has to do with the unknown. “Some people are nervous because of their own situation,” says Sihon. “And some kids already have deportation anxiety because of their family’s immigration status.”
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Sihon says you can curb your anxiety if you recognize the signs. If a child has more stomach aches, is using more self-soothing techniques such as sucking their thumb or twirling their hair, or isn’t sleeping right for days those could be signs of anxiety. An adult may eat too much or too little, and also may experience sleeplessness, headaches, and/or heart palpitations
Sihon says there are a number of ways adults and children can cope in these uncertain times.
Sihon says use wellness strategies for young children. “Get the kids outside. Exercise releases the pent up energy we get from worrying about things we can’t control. Also, do things as a family if you can.”
Sihon also says getting the proper amount of sleep can be key. WebMD recommends children 3-6 years old get 10-12 hours of sleep each night, 7 -10 year olds get between 10-11 hours of sleep a night, and kids 12-18 need 8-9 hours a night.
Wellness strategies for adults dealing with anxiety are similar. Sihon says don’t skimp on sleep, eat healthy foods, exercise and try to surround yourself with positive and encouraging people; don’t isolate yourself.
“Engage in those relationships where we do trust, do love and encourage us to continue on with whatever we need to get through,” says Sihon.
Finally, there are resources available if you feel you or your family member need more help. The state’s 24/7 crisis line provides counseling over the phone, and is connected to walk-in centers and can dispatch mobile crisis services too.
Call the Colorado Crisis Services hotline at 1-844-493-TALK (8255).
Jen Marnowsk is the Communications Director for Mental Health Colorado.